Looking at Georgia Tech baseball’s NCAA Tournament picture

Georgia Tech players celebrate their 9-8 win over Louisville in 12 innings in the ACC Tournament May 27, 2021 at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. (Laura Wolff/ACC)
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Georgia Tech players celebrate their 9-8 win over Louisville in 12 innings in the ACC Tournament May 27, 2021 at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. (Laura Wolff/ACC)

In each of the past 14 NCAA baseball tournaments, the ACC’s Coastal Division champion has earned a No. 1 seed in an NCAA regional. That streak doesn’t seem likely to extend to a 15th season, much to Georgia Tech’s chagrin.

The Yellow Jackets, who will learn their NCAA appointment at noon Monday, are expected to be a No. 2 seed in their 33rd tournament appearance. Coach Danny Hall was asked Saturday after Tech’s loss to N.C. State in the ACC Tournament semifinals if he felt like his team would be seeded thusly.

“I have no idea, honestly,” Hall said. “That’s all I’ll say. There’s plenty I’d want to say, but I’m not going to say it. I just think we have a great league.”

What he most likely wanted to say centered on his contention that the Jackets merited a No. 1 seed and, further, that the ACC hasn’t received its due this season.

When the bracket comes out, it may be that only one ACC team, Notre Dame, has a No. 1 seed. Since the NCAA expanded the tournament field to its current 64-team format and placed teams in 16 regionals in 1999, the ACC has had at least two teams with No. 1 seeds in every tournament. In fact, the conference has averaged 4.3 No. 1 seeds over the past 10 seasons.

If the selection committee decides against awarding the Jackets a No. 1 seed, there is some basis for it. Tech’s 29-23 record is not overwhelming, although one reason for that is that the ACC elected to play 36 league games in the regular season instead of the standard 30, leaving only 14 games for non-conference opponents. In a year where the ACC had a lot of balance — one could also say that there weren’t many dominant teams — the Jackets finished with a 21-15 league record, taking the Coastal by a half-game over Miami.

They won seven of 12 ACC series. Their .583 winning percentage in league games was lower than all of the previous 14 Coastal champions. On the other hand, over the past five tournaments, seven ACC teams earned No. 1 seeds with lower conference winning percentages than Tech’s .583, although five won the conference championship.

Regardless, the Jackets will go where they’re sent, aiming to advance past the regional round for the first time since 2006, a string of nine NCAA berths ending with a loss in a regional. If pairings hew to past form, they’ll likely be matched up with an SEC team east of the Mississippi River with a No. 1 seeding. Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Mississippi State would be possibilities. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are both consensus top-five teams.

But, with three healthy starters and a solid lineup, Tech should have a shot no matter where it goes.

And, for what it’s worth, the Jackets have done better in road games (13-8) than they have at home (15-13).

“Anywhere you go, you’re going to be playing good teams, and if you really want to win the national championship, you’re going to have to beat good teams, too,” shortstop Luke Waddell said.