Could ACC's tournament 'fail' keep Clemson out of the NCAA tournament?

Final projections by Baseball America, Perfect Game have hopeful Tigers as 'first team out'

2014 ACC Baseball Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro - Jack Leggett & Matthew Crownover

2014 ACC Baseball Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro - Jack Leggett & Matthew Crownover

It's shaping up as a dicey noon hour for the Clemson baseball team.

The Tigers, who by all accounts are squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, will gather in their player lounge at noon for the NCAA baseball tournament selection show, which will be televised by ESPNU. Media members will watch the show from the press box.

The tone of what happens next depends squarely on the decision of the selection committee.

Baseball America, which has had Clemson in its 'last three in' group throughout the weekend as the ACC tournament unfolded, changed its tune in last night's final projections.

Clemson is now listed as the 'first team out,' heading a group that includes Mercer, Illinois, Western Carolina, West Virginia and UC-Santa Barbara.

B.A.'s in-group is headed by UC-Irvine, followed by Central Florida, North Carolina, Stanford and Old Dominion.

B.A. editor Aaron Fitt bases his projection not so much in any deterioration of Clemson's resume, in relation to other contenders, but of the questionable perception of the ACC. The league went into its tournament with three of the nation's top teams. None made it out of pool play, and sixth-seeded Maryland and ninth-seeded Georgia Tech ended playing for the conference's automatic bid.

Georgia Tech, which had to play its way into the main draw by beating Wake Forest last week, didn't affect the number of at-large spots available - since the Jackets had the RPI to likely make the field anyway. But the perception of a so-called power league's ninth-place team walking away with the tournament title probably won't work in Clemson's favor, Fitt wrote:

"From what we gather through the grapevine, the Division I Baseball Committee is not impressed with the ACC, which could be bad news for Clemson."

Perfect Game concurs with Baseball America, by leaving Clemson out of the 64-team field as the first team out.

Today's announcement will fill out the field around the 16-team regional host framework announced Sunday night by the NCAA.

Three ACC schools - Miami, Florida State and Virginia - will serve as hosts, as will South Carolina and future ACC member Louisville.

Following are the 16 regional sites, and host schools:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – LSU (44-14-1)

Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana (42-13)

Charlottesville, Virginia – Virginia (44-13)

Coral Gables, Florida – Miami (Fla.) (41-17)

Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon State (42-12)

Columbia, South Carolina – South Carolina (42-16)

Fort Worth, Texas – TCU (42-15)

Gainesville, Florida – Florida (40-21)

Houston, Texas – Rice (41-18)

Lafayette, Louisiana – Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7)

Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville (45-15)

Nashville, Tennessee – Vanderbilt (41-18)

Oxford, Mississippi – Mississippi (41-18)

San Luis Obispo, California – Cal Poly (45-10)

Stillwater, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State (45-16)

Tallahassee, Florida – Florida State (43-15)

Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be played from May 30 to June 2.

Three schools are hosting for the 20th time or more as Florida State leads the list of schools with 31, Miami (Fla.) with 24 and LSU with 22. South Carolina is hosting for the 16th time, while Florida, Oklahoma State and Rice are all hosting for the 11th time since the NCAA went to the regional format in 1975.

Virginia is hosting for the eighth time, while Mississippi is hosting a regional for the sixth time. Oregon State is hosting for the fifth time with Louisville, TCU and Vanderbilt all hosting for the fourth time. Indiana and Louisiana-Lafayette are hosting for the second time, while rounding out the list and hosting for the first time is Cal Poly.

Eight schools (Florida State, Indiana, LSU, Louisville, Oregon State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Virginia) also hosted in 2013.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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Comments » 2

michtiger writes:

A top 64 team, yes. A deserving team for NCAA, no. Way to many poor hitting games, fielding terrible, clutch hitting a joke. 2 good pitchers but no one on the offense you feel good about in the clutch. Several terrible loses. In ACC there were some strange calls by Jack. Duke game he pinch hits Cox with RISP? On Friday with one out and runners on 2 and 3 in 9th he pinch hits Kennedy for McGibbon. Kennedy had lost his job, was not involved in game and Mcgibbon had been productive. He strikes out looking. No this team is inconsistent and not likely to be a factor in the tournament they should not be rewarded.

kellytown writes:

in response to michtiger:

A top 64 team, yes. A deserving team for NCAA, no. Way to many poor hitting games, fielding terrible, clutch hitting a joke. 2 good pitchers but no one on the offense you feel good about in the clutch. Several terrible loses. In ACC there were some strange calls by Jack. Duke game he pinch hits Cox with RISP? On Friday with one out and runners on 2 and 3 in 9th he pinch hits Kennedy for McGibbon. Kennedy had lost his job, was not involved in game and Mcgibbon had been productive. He strikes out looking. No this team is inconsistent and not likely to be a factor in the tournament they should not be rewarded.

I agree with this comment. Jack has made some terrible terrible calls. To many errors. I have never seen so many swings taken at balls way out of the strike zone.

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