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ACC Bubble Watch: May 17

(Photo Courtesy of University of North Carolina Athletics)

A wild season of ACC baseball is almost complete, as all 14 schools will be playing in their final regular season conference series this weekend, ahead of the conference tournament next week. Time is running out for bubble teams, with just three games left and the conference tournament left to impress the selection committee.

#1 Wake Forest, #8 Clemson, and #12 Miami look set to host Regionals, while #13 Virginia, #20 Duke, and #21 Boston College are hoping to improve their resumes enough to also be in that host conversation. Pittsburgh and Florida State are almost assuredly out of the NCAA Tournament (barring an automatic bid via winning the ACC Tournament), which leaves six ACC teams sitting on the bubble heading into the final weekend of conference play.

With six bids already accounted for with the aforementioned ranked teams, that means there are only likely 1-3 more bids potentially out there for the other six ACC bubble teams listed below. It's highly unlikely the ACC gets more than eight bids, and it is probably going to have to settle for seven. If the latter is true, that means only one of the ACC bubble teams below will be playing in the postseason. Let's see where each team stands if the season ended right now.

Virginia Tech 29-19 (11-15)

RPI Rank: 54 (-3)

SOS: 38

vs Top 25: 5-12

vs Top 50: 8-12

Remaining Games: at #1 Wake Forest (3)

Virginia Tech was swept over the weekend at home by the red hot Clemson Tigers, and they look to be all but out of the postseason picture. Even a series win at #1 Wake Forest won't be enough to salvage the Hokies' season. A shocking sweep of the Deacons and a run to at least the ACC Tournament final could get them close. Their best shot is to win the ACC Tournament and steal the automatic bid, something that isn't out of the realm of possibility given this lethal Hokies lineup.

CBC Verdict: Out

#24 North Carolina 33-18 (14-11)

RPI Rank: 25 (+7)

SOS: 15

vs Top 25: 5-14

vs Top 50: 10-15

Remaining Games: at #16 Clemson (3)

After sweeping in-state rival NC State this past weekend in impressive fashion, the Tar Heels are almost a lock for the postseason, even if they lose the final series to Clemson. Of the six ACC bubble teams, they are the only one that should be confident in their postseason hopes.

CBC Verdict: In

North Carolina State 31-18 (10-16)

RPI Rank: 26 (-7)

SOS: 19

vs Top 25: 5-15

vs Top 50: 7-16

Remaining Games: vs Pittsburgh (3)

North Carolina State suffered a devastating sweep at the hands of their rivals North Carolina this past weekend, but their season isn't over yet. As of this writing, they're likely just outside of the NCAA Tournament picture. They still boast a Top 30 RPI and Top 20 strength of schedule, and a series win or sweep versus Pittsburgh could put them back in the conversation. After UNC, the Wolfpack have the best resume of ACC bubble teams, and they could be the ones to get that 8th bid if there is one.

CBC Verdict: Out

Louisville 30-22 (9-18)

RPI Rank: 34 (-4)

SOS: 16

vs Top 25: 6-14

vs Top 50: 12-18

Remaining Games: vs Florida State (3)

After being swept in back-to-back series by Clemson and Virginia, Louisville is toast. They're currently two full games behind NC State in the ACC standings and look unlikely to qualify for even the ACC Tournament. It's been an impressive collapse from a talented team, but the only way they get to a regional is if they sneak into the ACC Tournament and win it for the automatic bid. They have the talent to do so, but if their play the last six weeks is any indication, their season ends this weekend before the conference tournament.

CBC Verdict: Out

Notre Dame 29-20 (14-13)

RPI Rank: 52 (-11)

SOS: 48

vs Top 25: 6-6

vs Top 50: 10-11

Remaining Games: at #23 Boston College (3)

Notre Dame had the weekend off from ACC play, and their RPI took a big hit since last week after sweeping Akron and losing to Northwestern. Most other teams that go 3-1 at this point of the year should see their RPI rise, but with the Irish facing mediocre competition, they instead saw theirs drop 11 spots. They'll need a big road series win at Boston College and a run to the ACC Tournament Final to feel good about their chances for an NCAA Regional.

CBC Verdict: Out

Georgia Tech 30-22 (12-15)

RPI Rank: 48 (+4)

SOS: 28

vs Top 25: 8-9

vs Top 50: 10-13

Remaining Games: vs #13 Virginia (3)

Georgia Tech won a crucial series at then-ranked #12 Duke this past weekend before dropping a midweek game to Mercer. They'll need to win the series against Virginia at home this weekend, then win two games in the NCAA Tournament to have a good chance at making a Regional.

CBC Verdict: Out

Settle in, buckle up, and stay right here with College Baseball Central, folks. We'll take you through the rest of the regular season, the ACCT, and all the way up to Selection/Memorial Day.


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