The Syracuse Orange is dominating the ACC standings right now at 3-0 in conference play. The Orange could end up as the one, two or three seed in the ACC Tournament, but the good news is that SU is in command of its own destiny.
Now I’m not going to go through everything because that would simply be too much for a Sunday night in Jim’s world. Instead, below are the highlights, and because this is such a crazy exercise in my patience and I am exhausted, please let me know if I am missing anything.
Best Case: 1st Seed: It will happen if Syracuse beats UNC or if UNC has two losses.
Worst Case: 3rd Seed: If UNC and Duke win out, it would leave SU, UNC, and Duke all with 3-1 records. The first tie breaker would be head-to-head which gives each a .500 winning percentage against the other two teams. The next tie-breaker would record versus teams occupying a higher position, which of course there is none. The third tie breaker is fewest goals allowed in Conference games amongst the tied programs. Therefore, in this scenario, any of the three could be seeds 1-3.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Best Case: 1st Seed: If UNC wins out and goes 3-1. However if UNC is 3-1 and Duke is also 3-1, we would be in that three-way tie-breaker scenario in which fewest goals allowed in Conference games amongst the tied teams would decide the first, second, and third seeds. Another loss and Carolina is eliminated from the first seed no matter what.
Worst Case: 5th Seed: There are multiple scenarios in which UNC could end up in the fifth seed. Obviously if the Heels lose out, but also if they are a one win team, Carolina could find its way to the bottom.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Best Case: 2nd Seed: If Notre Dame wins out and goes 3-1. However, if Duke, Carolina, and Notre Dame end up in a three way tie at 2-2 and UNC loses to SU, then the tie breaker would be goals allowed in conference games amongst the tied teams, so it would still be possible that UND gets the second seed. A loss this weekend to Duke would eliminate the Irish from the second seed.
Worst Case: 5th Seed: If Notre Dame goes 1-3 and UVA goes 2-2, then even if UNC loses to Syracuse, the Heels would have the tie breaker against the Irish. So long as the Irish pick up a second win they can avoid being the fifth seed.
Best Case: 2nd Seed: In the scenario where there is a three way tie for second between UVA, Duke, and Carolina all at 2-2, UVA would have the tie breakers against Duke and Carolina. This is assuming that Notre Dame goes 1-3.
Worst Case: 5th Seed: This will happen if UVA loses out and could still happen if UVA has just one win.
Duke Blue Devils
Best Case: 1st Seed: While highly unlikely, as we talked about earlier a three-way tie at 3-1 with Duke having the fewest goals against in Conference play amongst the tied teams would give Duke the first seed. Duke could also take the second seed if it wins out and is 3-1 in Conference play and Syracuse beats UNC.
Worst Case: 5th Seed: Duke loses out and goes 1-3 in Conference play and Carolina grabs at least two wins. This would leave Duke in fifth place because even if UNC beats UVA, so long as UNC picks up a second win, UVA would have the tie breaker against Duke. There is, however, a scenario where Duke goes 1-3 and still gets the third seed, so nothing is settled.