Whether you like or loathe the ACC Baseball tournament format is inconsequential at this point. The filed is set!!
Tuesday, May 19
#7 Virginia vs. #10 Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#8 North Carolina vs. #9 Virginia Tech, 3 p.m. (RSN)
Wednesday, May 20
#4 Florida State vs. #5 Clemson, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#2 Miami vs. #7 Virginia/ #10 Georgia Tech, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#1 Louisville vs. #8 North Carolina/#9 Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Thursday, May 21
#3 Notre Dame vs. #6 NC State, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#5 Clemson vs. #1 Louisville, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#4 Florida State vs. #8 North Carolina/#9 Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Friday, May 22
#3 Notre Dame vs. #7 Virginia/ #10 Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#5 Clemson vs. #8 North Carolina/#9 Virginia Tech, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#2 Miami vs. #6 NC State, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Saturday, May 23
#1 Louisville vs. #4 Florida State, 11 a.m. (RSN)
#2 Miami vs. #3 Notre Dame, 3 p.m. (RSN)
#6 NC State vs. #7 Virginia/ #10 Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (RSN)
Sunday, May 24
ACC Championship, 1 p.m. (ESPN2) – See more at: https://ncstate.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1766905#sthash.NjyfzKA7.dpuf
NC State (31-20 overall and 15-14 in the ACC) earned the sixth seed and got the final coveted pool spots, meaning they avoid do-or-die games between seeds seven through 10 on Tuesday afternoon.
The Pack opens the ACC Tournament Thursday afternoon against third-seeded Notre Dame (35-19, 17-13). The Pack lost two of three to the Irish in South Bend earlier this season, with their triumph a 14-inning 4-2 victory. First pitch is at 11 a.m.
On Friday, NCSU is the night-cap of the triple header at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and the Pack will play second-seeded Miami. The Hurricanes (42-13, 22-8 ACC), champs of the Coastal Division, swept NCSU in Coral Gables, Fla., including a 3-2 win in 10 innings. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m., start.
The final game of pool lay comes Saturday, also the finale with a scheduled 7 p.m., beginning. NCSU will play the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between seventh-seeded Virginia (33-19, 15-15) and 10th-seeded Georgia Tech (32-22, 13-17). State used a pair of walk-off homers to take two of three against the Cavs in Raleigh, but the Pack has not played Georgia Tech this year.
The winners of the four-team pools will then play for the ACC title Sunday at 1 p.m., on ESPN2. All other tournament games are televised on RSN.
WRAL has a surprisingly well researched on the scheduling available here and quoted below.
This year, Notre Dame – whose 705 miles of separation from Durham is only exceeded by the 825 miles that Miami faces – is one of two teams in the field that is not scheduled to play a primetime, 7 p.m. game during pool play. The other is No. 5 Clemson who drew the short end of the stick by potentially being in the same pool as North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Triangle fans will get treated to their local teams in primetime starts every night of the event.
If UNC can get past Virginia Tech in the play-in game, a likely but not forgone conclusion, the Tar Heels will play at 7 p.m. in each of their first two pool play games. Of course the opponents help too. UNC will play No. 1 seed Louisville Wednesday night and No. 4 Florida State Thursday. Their lone non-primetime game is against the aforementioned Clemson on Friday at 3 p.m.
NC State’s draw is similar as they will be featured in the 7 p.m. Friday night game against No. 2 Miami. And for good measure, the Wolfpack will wrap up the pool play slate on Saturday night against either 2014 ACC champion Georgia Tech or the well-traveled Virginia Cavaliers. The only early start for NC State this week will come Thursday morning at 11 a.m. against the Irish.
The ACC is not stupid. They know what games will draw fans to the ticket window and have them in their seats for a better picture on TV. Sunday’s championship game on ESPN2 aside, the post-work crowd that flips to Fox Sports South at 7 p.m. next week will see a fuller stadium than the 11 a.m. sneak-a-peek-at-lunch crowd.
Similar scheduling patterns have happened in years past. Look no further than the much-anticipated UNC-NC State game in 2013. A 7 p.m. start on Saturday that drew a record crowd of better than 11,000. The same thing happened in the 2014 tournament in Greensboro when Maryland and Georgia Tech were denied a primetime game but No. 7 seed UNC played twice at 7p, as did nearby No. 3 Virginia.
In 2013 at DBAP, primetime games involving either UNC or NC State drew an average of 7,224 fans. The lone 7 p.m. game that week that did not feature a Triangle school barely cracked 3,000 (3,020). That same year, the Triangle duo played just two non-primetime games and drew an average of 3,432 – and neither game was on Saturday. That average was almost identical to the 3,438 that the two other non-Triangle weekend games drew and better than the 3,033 fans that averaged in attendance for non-Triangle games for the week.
In 2014, even with Duke replacing NC State as the Triangle compliment to UNC, games involving area teams drew nearly 1,000 fans better per game. The 7 p.m. time slot saw UNC play twice – drawing an average of 5,260. It also saw two primetime games not involving a Triangle team – and had the benefit of Virginia vs. Florida State on Saturday – and still averaged to draw just 4,357.