The last double-bye in the ACC Tournament will not be determined until the final day of regular season games, which is Saturday. The Louisville Cardinals are looking at either getting the 4 seed or the 5 seed in the tournament. The top 4 seeds get the double-byes, while the 5th seed would still get a bye of their own.
The 4th and 5th spots will come down to Louisville and North Carolina. Much like their two games against each other this season, this one will come down to the end. And either way you look at it, a third game between these teams is likely. Here are the different scenarios…
If Louisville wins and North Carolina loses:
-Louisville is the 4 seed. North Carolina is the 5 seed. Pretty simple.
If Louisville loses and North Carolina wins:
-North Carolina is the 4 seed. Louisville is the 5 seed.
If both teams win:
Louisville gets the 4 seed. They split with North Carolina in the regular season. The next tiebreaker is record against best conference opponent, which would be Virginia. Louisville would have a win over Virginia. North Carolina would not. Louisville gets the tiebreaker.
If both teams lose:
This is where it gets tricky. If both teams lose on Saturday, they are still tied and it still comes down to who has the better record against the best conference opponent. The only problem is, we don’t know who that will be yet because there is a logjam of teams with similar records, so it will all have to play out on Saturday. Let me put it like this. If Louisville loses on Saturday, they also need losses from North Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State, and Virginia Tech.
*Games that come into play (if Louisville loses) in bold.
12:00 Syracuse (18-12, 9-8) @ NC State (18-12, 9-8) CBS
12:00 Miami (19-11, 9-8) @ Virginia Tech (10-20, 2-15) FullCourt/ESPN3
12:00 Pittsburgh (19-12, 8-9) @ Florida State (15-15, 7-10) ESPN2/WatchESPN
2:00 Wake Forest (13-17, 5-12) @ Boston College (11-18, 3-14) FullCourt/ESPN3
4:00 Clemson (16-13, 8-9) @ (12) Notre Dame (25-5, 13-4) FullCourt/ESPN3
6:30 (2) Virginia (28-1, 16-1) @ (16) Louisville (23-7, 11-6) ESPN/WatchESPN
9:00 (3) Duke (27-3, 14-3) @ (19) North Carolina (21-9, 11-6) ESPN/WatchESPN
Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal explains it a little more, using information from Kelly Dickey, aka @RealCardGame on twitter, who is a guru with stats.
More from Card Game on Thursday: The tiebreaker Louisville could win if Louisville and North Carolina finish 11-7 is by having an equal winning percentage (2-1) as North Carolina against NC State and Miami — tied for 6th place at 10-8 — and a better winning percentage (2-1 vs. 1-1) against Syracuse and Pittsburgh — tied for 8th place at 9-9.
Louisville would also prevail if Clemson joins the tie at 8th place with a 9-9 record.
How much does this even matter?
Eh, just depends on your perspective. In the tournament, the 5 seed will have to beat the winner of the 12 vs 13 game, which will be Boston College vs Georgia Tech. If the 5 seed wins that game, they face the 4 seed next. So that’s why I say either way, you are probably going to have a rematch between the Cards and Tar Heels. So because this team is still getting used to life without Chris Jones, do you want them to play an extra game and get that experience in? Or are you ok with the extra day of practice in place of a game?
For me, it really doesn’t matter much. If we are the 5 seed, it’s fine. I just know that will mean we lost on Saturday, meaning we are on a two game losing streak entering the tournament, which would be a bummer. If we are the 4 seed and get the double-bye, it likely means that we beat Virginia, which could create some great momentum heading into the tournament.
So it really doesn’t matter to me in the grand scheme of things whether we end up as the 4 or 5. The downfall of not getting the double-bye just means you play another game. Another chance to see our Cards play. So you can’t be mad about that. But that 4 seed would be much sweeter if it means knocking off Virginia on Senior Day wouldn’t it? Yeah, let’s go with that one now.
Go Cards…Go Krogering…Beat Virginia!