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Another Expansion Sacrifice

Yesterday marked the beginning of the ACC baseball tournament. Last year, Duke finished at the bottom of the ACC, but still had a chance to win the ACC by winning the ACC Tournament. (Duke lost their first game to Wake Forest, and were eliminated.) That is part of the magic of the ACC Tournament, regardless of the sport.

This year, that's changed. Instead of all twelve ACC teams appearing in the tournament, only the "top eight" will play, and four teams don't even get a shot. Despite improving this year, Duke was one of those four teams to be eliminated without playing a game.

Also gone is the double elimination nature of the tournament. (It should be noted that the last eight was double elimination, when Florida State joined, the 8 and 9 teams had a single game to qualify, and last year the bottom four teams had a three game knockout to qualify for the 8 seed.) Instead, there are two brackets with four teams that are double elimination, with the two bracket winners meeting in a single championship game. This could result in a one-loss bracket champion beating a previously undefeated bracket champion for the ACC Title. The College World Series used to have this format, but has abandoned it in the name of fairness.

We regret this decision by the ACC, and strongly encourage them to open up the tournament to all twelve ACC teams, and to restore the double elimination nature through the championship, at least for all games from the final eight.