UNC-Duke is not the only winner takes all showdown this weekend
In what can only be described as an odd confluence of events, Clemson and Virginia Tech will square off this weekend in a straight up battle for 3rd place in the ACC while UNC and Duke are battling for 1st. This is all because Clemson went to Atlanta and lost to Georgia Tech despite the fact the Jackets were playing there third game in six days and lost to Virginia on Monday night. This result along with Virginia Tech demolishing Wake Forest leaves both teams 9-6 and facing each other this weekend at Clemson. Since this is the only meeting between these two, the winner takes 3rd. The loser would fall to 9-7 and should Miami beat FSU this weekend they would also be 9-7. According to ACC Now, Miami owns all the tiebreakers over the Clemson-VT loser. As since J.P. Giglio did all the legwork on what happens down the line I am going to let him explain how the ACC Tournament seeding works out.
No. 1: UNC-Duke winner.
No. 2: UNC-Duke loser.
No. 3: Virginia Tech-Clemson winner
No. 4: Miami clinches the No. 4 seed with a win at FSU. Otherwise, No. 4 belongs to the Virginia Tech-Clemson loser.
The Canes, at 9-7, would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Virginia Tech (won the only meeting) and Maryland (won the only meeting). The Canes also hold the tie-breaker over Clemson (they split the season series) due to their win over Duke.
If Miami loses, both Virginia Tech and Clemson hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland.
There is no scenario where Maryland finishes No. 4.
No. 5: If Miami wins, Clemson holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland (won the only meeting).
Virginia Tech holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Maryland (season sweep).
Maryland can only finish No. 5 with a win AND a Miami loss.
No. 6: If Miami wins, Maryland’s locked into the No. 6 seed, regardless of what it does against Virginia.
If Miami loses and Maryland wins, Miami is the No. 6 seed. If both teams lose, Miami is the No. 5 and Maryland is the No. 6.
No. 7: Georgia Tech has the best group record among the three 6-9 teams (Wake and FSU).
GT holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wake (season sweep). Wake holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over FSU (season sweep). FSU holds head-to-head over GT (won the only meeting).
No. 8: See No. 7.
No. 9: See No. 7.
No. 10: Boston College has the best group record among the three 4-11 teams (UVa and N.C. State).
BC holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over UVa (won the only meeting) and N.C. State (won the only meeting).
UVa holds the tie-breaker over N.C. State (won the only meeting).
N.C. State can only finish No. 10 with a win AND losses by BC AND UVa.
No. 11: See No. 10.
No. 12: N.C. State clinches No. 12 with a loss OR wins by BC AND UVa.
In other words, someone in the league office will be doing calculus until 2 AM Monday morning trying to get the seedings worked out. And in this UNC could end up with some favorable matchups depending on who wins and loses. I, for one, do not want to see Clemson in the semifinals but Saturday might be the least of the Heels’ concerns since they could end up playing either GT, Wake or FSU in the quarters. Quite frankly I do not care for any of those but UNC also will have the advantage of their opponent playing the previous day. Assuming they get to Saturday, I do not want to see Clemson because winning three times against one team is tough enough and Clemson has been so close twice I have a bad feeling about playing with fire a third time. That basically means, as far as a potential semifinal matchup goes, UNC and Clemson both need to win this weekend to avoid one another next weekend. That is assuming they win on Friday which is no guarantee in tournament play.