The two hottest teams in the ACC Tournament — teams that happen to be bitter rivals — advanced to the finals with wins on Saturday.
No. 10 NC State and No. 8 North Carolina cruised through their pools and picked up semifinal victories on Saturday to become the last teams standing. The Pack and Heels will fight for the ACC title at Truist Field in Charlotte on Sunday at noon.
It will be the first time since 1990 that they have met in an ACC baseball tournament title game. UNC won that contest, 5-0.
Both teams will be making their 40th appearance in the ACC Baseball Tournament title game. The Tar Heels have won seven titles, their most recent in 2019. The Pack have won four championships, but haven’t held the trophy for 30 years. NC State has gone 0-7 in the Finals since then.
After their weekend series earlier this month at Chapel Hill in which the Heels took two of three in the Pack, UNC leads the all-time series between the rivals, 55-53.
The two teams met last season in the ACC Pool Tournament, with the Heels winning 9-6. NC State still advanced in the pool game and fell to Duke in the title game.
Both teams went 2-0 in pool this year. UNC beat Clemson 9-2, then Virginia Tech, 10-0, to advance to the semifinals on Saturday. NC State won Pool C beating No. 6 Wake Forest, 11-8, and No. 3 Miami, 9-6.
A month ago, UNC was an NCAA tournament bubble team. After a solid finish and a great performance in Charlotte, they are ready to potentially host a regional.
“If you look at where we were a month ago,” Danny Serreti said. “I don’t think anyone would have believed that we would organize a regional, except us. We just put our heads down and we knew we had the talent. We just had to get over that bump a bit.
Both teams saw their stock increase during the tournament. D1baseball.com currently has the Pack heading to Greenville to take on Wofford. Carolina should play at the College of Charleston.
HOW TO WATCH
The match will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 at noon.
ARE YOU A CORD CUTTER?
If your preferred method of watching games is to stream, there are options for that too.
ESPN is available on Hulu, SlingTV, YouTubeTV, DirectTV Stream or FuboTV.
Additionally, you can follow the game by following News & Observer reporter Jonas Pope IV (@JEPopeIV) on Twitter. He and photojournalist Ethan Hyman will be on hand at Truist Field.