Who told Pitt the NCAA Tournament started tonight?— Dan Lyons (@Dan_Lyons76) March 3, 2016
The Panthers lost to Virginia Tech Wednesday night and that creates a four-team 9-8 bottleneck in the middle of the ACC standings (SU, Pitt, VT and Clemson). That also means that while North Carolina, Miami, and Virginia are locked into the top three spots, Duke (11-6) and Notre Dame (10-7) are battling it out for the fourth double-bye.
As for what this means for the Orange, it means that the team can potentially work their way all the way up to the fifth-seed if they play their cards right. (Bear with me, I don't math good).
First of all, they need to beat Florida State this weekend. Do that and you're 10-8. That's a good start.
Pitt visits Georgia Tech, which could go either way. Clemson visits Boston College, which...next. Virginia Tech visits Miami, who could spell trouble for them. If everyone wins, the Orange only hold a tiebreaker over Virginia Tech and could probably be looking at
If all of those teams lose, the Orange get to the sixth-seed. But hold the phone...
Notre Dame visits NC State and, in theory, they could lose (right?). If that's the case, then we've got five teams in the mix. Syracuse has the tiebreaker on them as well.
So, basically, if all four of those teams lose and Syracuse wins, the Orange are the five-seed. That's unlikely, but, ACC basketball is weird.
Regardless, the point is that the Orange have a say in their seeding and that could make a big difference in the ACCT. The 8/9 game is the first game of the day on March 9. Then the five-seed gets the winner of the 12/13 game after that. Then the 7/10 is the 7:00 game and the six-seed gets the winner of the 11/14 game in the night shift.
How easy or hard the road to confirming a spot in the NCAA Tournament remains unclear, but so long as the Orange take care of business against FSU, they'll have done everything they can.