The Washington Times - April 8, 2011, 12:17PM

As in football and basketball, it’s left to reporters to decipher all the permutations possible for the ACC lacrosse tournament.

And that’s OK, since there’s only four teams and six regular-season games between them.

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The fifth game comes Saturday, when North Carolina visits Virginia. And it’s possible the four-team bracket for the April 22-24 conference tournament will be finalized by around 2 p.m. tomorrow.

At this stage, there are three relevant scenarios, one of which will be locked up tomorrow. The last conference game is next week’s Virginia-Duke showdown in Durham.

First, the conference records to date:

Duke (2-0)
North Carolina (1-1)
Maryland (1-2)
Virginia (0-1)

IF UNC BEATS VIRGINIA

1. Duke (2-0); 2. North Carolina (2-1); 3. Maryland (1-2); 4. Virginia (0-2)

Duke beat North Carolina. Maryland beat Virginia. The head-to-head tiebreakers are already in place, making Duke-Virginia irrelevant for seeding purposes if the Cavaliers lose to the Tar Heels.

IF VIRGINIA WINS OUT

1. Virginia (2-1); 2. Duke (2-1); 3. North Carolina (1-2); 4. Maryland (1-2)

The Cavaliers would take the top spot if they beat both of the Carolina schools, and would win the head-to-head with the Blue Devils. North Carolina defeat Maryland and would win the head-to-head between the two for the third seed.

IF VIRGINIA BEATS UNC AND LOSES TO DUKE

1. Duke (3-0); 2-4. Maryland 1-2, North Carolina 1-2, Virginia 1-2 – subject to tiebreaker

This is the tricky scenario. The three tied teams would all be 1-1 in their mini-group and all would have lost to Duke. That leads to the next three tiebreakers.

Goals allowed in league games between the tied teams

At the moment, it stacks up this way with North Carolina-Virginia looming:

6: North Carolina
12: Virginia
18:
Maryland

The next tiebreaker is goal differential in conference games

0: North Carolina
-1: Maryland
-5: Virginia

The last tiebreaker is the ever-popular blind draw.

And, yes, this will be updated sometime Saturday

Patrick Stevens