ACC Baseball Tournament 2012: The Most Intriguing Potential Finals Matchups
Florida State has dominated the ACC in baseball for years, but if their first game of the 2012 ACC Tournament is any indication of what's to come over next five days in Greensboro, North Carolina, we're all in for a wild ride.
The mighty No. 1 seeded Seminoles dropped a 5-4 decision to the No. 8 seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to kick off the tournament.
This doesn't mean the end for FSU. They lost their tournament opener in 2010 but went on to win to the whole thing.
As one of the nation's deepest conferences, with four teams in the Top 25, anything can happen.
Let's look at three intriguing potential finals matchups.
No. 1 seed Florida State vs. No. 2 North Carolina
These Top 5 teams didn't play each other during the regular season, so there would be a natural intrigue to a No.1 vs. No. 2 seed showdown for the conference championship.
The Seminoles are led by ACC Player of the Year James Ramsey who's batting a ridiculous .387 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs, but FSU gets it done with a balanced offensive attack.
Infielder Jayce Boyd leads the conference with a .393 batting average, and Justin Gonzalez banged out seven home runs of his own this season.
Their pitching staff is deep, as well.
The Tar Heels match up exquisitely with the Seminoles as a sound but not necessarily powerful hitting club with a well-rounded pitching staff.
Colin Moran hit .384 during a fine 2012 campaign and ace Emmanuel Kent finished the year with an 8-3 record and a filthy 1.80 ERA.
FSU vs. UNC—the battle everyone's hoping to witness.
No. 1 seed Florida State vs. No. 3 seed North Carolina State
N.C. State beat FSU 10-5 on May 17th in Tallahassee. They went on to drop the last two games of the series, but the Wolfpack definitely gained confidence from their convincing win.
Pitching stud Carlos Rodon went 6.1 innings to get the win over the top-ranked Seminoles, and it'd be interesting if he'd have FSU's number again if his team played them in the finals.
The Wolfpack aren't as talented as the Seminoles or the Tar Heels from top to bottom, but shortstop Chris Evans and Ryan Mathews provide the needed batting spark for the No. 3 seed.
Mathews went deep 14 times during the regular season.
It won't be easy for any team to up-end the Seminoles, but the Wolfpack can do it.
No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech
My last pick includes a Cinderella story.
The Yellow Jackets stunned the Seminoles in the opener thanks to two dingers by ACC RBI leader Jake Davies.
They have their work cut out for them, but they at least started the tournament with a victory that will certainly boost morale and build momentum for the rest of the week.
If Georgia Tech can advance to the finals, and face the higher-seeded Tar Hells, they'll do so with the utmost confidence.
Outside of their would-be magical run, the Yellow Jackets beat North Carolina two of three games in Chapel Hill in mid-April.
We always love the underdog story, and this would be quite the compelling finals clash.
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