ACC Baseball Tournament 2012: Teams with Best Chance to Derail Florida State

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2012

Courtesy of Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel
Courtesy of Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel

Florida State's dominance over the ACC has made it impossible to think they won't win the conference tournament. 

However, there is good depth in the conference this year and the Seminoles are not infallible. In this kind of format—eight teams separated in two pools and round-robin record to determine the two teams who play for the championship—anything can happen. 

Here are the teams standing in Florida State's way that will give them the most problems during the ACC Tournament. 

Virginia Cavaliers, No. 4 Seed

Courtesy of The Daily Progress
Courtesy of The Daily Progress

Virginia will take on Florida State in the final game for both teams in Pool A action on Saturday. The Cavaliers enter the ACC Tournament on fire, winning 12 of their last 14 games. They have also swept three-game series from fellow tournament teams Miami and Clemson this year. 

Florida State took it to Virginia earlier this season when they played a three-game series, sweeping them in Tallahassee back in March. That was a vastly different Virginia team then, however. The offense was struggling and the pitching staff was trying to be so careful to make up for their offensive woes. 

As long as the offense shows up this time around, the Cavaliers are strong enough to pull off the upset on Saturday and play in Sunday's championship game. 

Clemson Tigers, No. 5 Seed

Courtesy of Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Courtesy of Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Before Virginia can get its hands on the country's No. 1 team, Clemson will take a shot at knocking off the beast that is Florida State on Friday. 

The Tigers boast one of the nation's best power hitters, third baseman Richie Shaffer. If you want to keep up with Florida State, you have to be able to score runs. One player alone won't make all the difference, but it is a good start. 

These two teams did meet during the regular season, with Florida State taking two of three games. Getting a first-hand look at what the Seminoles are capable of will at least give Clemson a better understanding of what to expect, as well as possible weaknesses to exploit. 

Pitching let the Tigers down in that first series, so it will be crucial that their starters give them quality innings this time around. 

North Carolina Tar Heels, No. 2 Seed

Courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/US Presswire
Courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/US Presswire

The only way that Florida State and North Carolina will play in this tournament is if they meet in the Championship Game on Sunday. They have been the top two teams in the ACC all season, so it would not be a shock to see one final showdown. 

Since these two teams did not meet during the regular season, you kind of hope that they meet in this environment just to see how they match up with each other. 

North Carolina has the balance on offense and pitching to at least keep up with Florida State. The Tar Heels aren't as strong as Florida State in either category, but the difference isn't so great that they would be out of their element. 

At the very least, these two would provide one of the most talked-about conference championship games this season.