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.