Some would argue that entering the the ACC Tourney as the 7 seed is indicative of a unsuccessful season. As I already said, the last month and a half has been a bit upsetting after a strong month of February and March.The Jackets followed a 21-6 early season record with 12-17 record to end the season. Tech also had a 1-4 record in their last five series of the season, as well as a season series loss to the dwags in extra innings.
But ESPN had this team ranked in the top 15 at their peak this season. The Jackets have shown strengths this season that aren't displayed in their record. They currently ranked 3rd in the nation in Strength of Schedule!! They are 15-15 in the ACC. The ACC that has four teams in the Top 10, as well as a total of 6 in the Top 25. This is a VERY strong conference this season, and the Jackets have competed against the best of them. Entering Atlanta, UNC was ranked 1st in the nation and sitting in the top position for the ENTIRE season. They hadn't lost a series since the Spring in 2012, when Tech beat them in the regular season before the ACC Championship. The Jackets came away with a great victory, showing the nation that they can in fact battle to the end against the best teams.
So now what? Today, the Jackets will fight to keep their postseason hopes alive. I think it is safe to say that with an RPI of 22, they will be competing in Regional play in June. At the same time, their location for their region and the teams they have to play will all be determined from their performance in the ACC Championship.
Let's go over the format for the ACC Tourney, because it is a bit different:
- Two Pools of 4 teams.
- Each Pool plays a "Round Robin" against each team.
- The best teams from "Pool A" and "Pool B" will play for the ACC Championship.
- There is a tie process, but I'll edit that in if necessary after Game 2.
My feelings on this format:
I LOVE it for Georgia Tech. Especially with a strong ACC conference this season, this format gives way to the "anyone's game" sort of gameplay. As I said earlier, Tech has beaten the best. Theoretically, the Jackets could win two of their games and drop one and still make it into the Champ game. I also think that this Jacket team has played up or down to their competition. As you will see in a minute, their Pool is VERY strong. Let's check it out:
Wednesday: Florida State
Friday: Virginia Tech
Now this means that only Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech must play Wednesday through Friday without a day off. Other teams have one of the days off before finishing their 3 game series. The Tech's must play three straight, followed by a day off before the Final on Sunday. I don't know how I feel about this, I'll tell you on Friday.. :)
Wednesday Game Notes:
Tech Starter: RHP Buck Farmer
FL State Starter: LHP Scott Sitz
Radio: WREK 91.1FM
TV: Fox Sports Network, ESPN3
- After looking at this series, its interesting because Farmer got the win against FSU with a 10-0 victory. But these pitchers did not face each other, and Sitz saw a win in Game 2, in an 11-3 loss. The series was decided on Sunday in an 6-8 loss for Tech, after 5 quick runs. This series is very even!!
Some Fun Facts:
- All eight teams in the ACC Tournament are in the top 22 ranked in the RPI.
- Tech is 71-53 in the ACC tournament, never missing a Championship Tournament.
- Tech has the second most ACC Championships (8).
- Only 1 team has won at Omaha, Wake Forest in 1955 (Miami won twice since 2000, but not when they were in the ACC).
- Buck Farmer, Tech's top Starter, ranked first in the Nation in Wins (32).
Check back here for updates and discussion during the game. What do y'all think, can the Jackets defend their ACC Championship? What do you think about Tech's draw?