The dogpile, the championship trophy and the ACC’s automatic NCAA bid aren’t the only things that will be on the line Sunday when Florida State and Duke face off in the conference tournament final at Charlotte’s Truist Field.

There’s also the potential for a significant advantage in the next, even more important tournament to the winner.

For the 6th-seeded Blue Devils, it could mean the opportunity to host an NCAA regional for the 1st time in school history. The reward for an ACC title could be even greater for the 5th-seeded Seminoles, who stand to earn a top-8 national seed that would keep them at home in Tallahassee through the super regional round if they advance that far.

It’s entirely possible that both teams may already have locked up those goals simply by getting this far.

But unlike all those other teams that have already headed home from Charlotte – including FSU and Duke’s semifinal victims Wake Forest and Miami – they still have 1 last chance to pad their resumes before the NCAA fills its 64-team bracket at noon on Monday.

How many bids will the ACC get?

How many regionals will the league host?

And who should be sweating it out most in the hours between now and the time the selections are announced?

Here’s a look ahead for some of the answers.

National seeds

Regular season champion North Carolina and Atlantic Division winner Clemson are safely locked into national-seed positions, even though both failed to make it out of pool play.

The Tar Heels check in at No. 5 in the RPI rankings, a metric that weighs heavily in the NCAA selection committee’s seeding decisions. They did what they had to do to stay inside the top 8 by beating Pittsburgh in their ACC opener. Friday’s 12-inning loss to Wake Forest, while disappointing, didn’t affect their standing because of the Deacons’ high RPI.

The Tigers currently sit at No. 7. After losing to Miami on Thursday, they saved themselves some nervous moments by rallying from a 6-run deficit to beat Louisville in a game that had no impact on the ACC Tournament, but was far from meaningless.

As for FSU, the Seminoles figure to be in good shape win or lose on Sunday, especially with No. 9 Indiana State having lost twice in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this week. But as they learned in football, it’s never a good idea to leave the decision in the hands of the committee.

Beating Duke winning a conference championship would go a long way toward ending whatever suspense there might still be.

Regional hosts

There will be at least 2 ACC teams among the remaining 8 chosen to host NCAA regionals next week.
Virginia, at 45-15 overall after splitting its games against Georgia Tech and FSU in Charlotte and No, 11 in the RPI, will be 1 of them.

After that, things could potentially get a little interesting. So of course, NC State factors into the equation.

The Wolfpack figures to be in good shape with a No. 15 RPI ranking and the nation’s 3rd most difficult strength of schedule. And they no longer have to worry about the stigma of #NCStateStuff hanging over their heads.

But just in case, Elliott Avent and his team might want to pull for the Seminoles on Sunday. Because if Duke wins and makes a significant jump up from its current No. 21 RPI ranking, it could be NC State’s regional that they end up stealing.

Even though Wake Forest boasts an impressive RPI at No. 10 and strength of schedule at No. 7, the Deacons hold out little hope of getting into the top 16 because of a middling 15-15 ACC record.Their hopes for hosting are so slim that coach Tom Walter didn’t even bother lobbying the committee after Saturday’s loss to FSU. “No, I don’t expect us to be home,” he said. “I think there are too many teams ahead of us.”

On the bubble

The 16 regional host sites will be announced sometime after the conclusion of Sunday’s conference championship game. So that suspense will be gone by the time Selection Monday rolls around. And because all 7 of the previously mentioned teams are solidly in the field, their biggest uncertainty will be the identity of the 3 teams joining them in their bracket.

Georgia Tech and Louisville won’t have the same luxury. They’ll be holding their collective breath just hoping to hear their teams’ names called.

The Yellow Jackets have the better shot at getting 1 of the 31 available at large bids. Even though they wasted their opportunity to bolster their resume by losing twice in Charlotte, both setbacks came to top-10 RPI opponents (FSU and UVa). They also have a strong 16-6 out-of-conference record to go along with a .500 ACC mark and an RPI of 48.

Tech is projected as one of the last 4 teams in by most of the major college baseball sites, which leaves them vulnerable to smaller conference bid thieves such as Evansville in the MVC.

Louisville also didn’t do itself any favors this week, especially after squandering that big lead in what would have been a huge resume-boosting win against Clemson. At 33-24 overall with 4 Quad 3-4 losses and an RPI of 60, the Cardinals need a miracle to keep their season from ending.

Featured photo courtesy of the ACC