Now, all that’s left is the waiting.
The University of Miami baseball team, fighting to extend its 44-year NCAA postseason streak, was eliminated from the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament late Saturday night after falling 12-4 to second-ranked North Carolina.
The semifinal started two-and-a-half hours late because of rain and was delayed another 1 hour 39 minutes by lightning and more rain in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The sixth-seeded Hurricanes (31-27) lost for the first time in seven games after entering the ACC tourney with a four-game winning streak and extending it with victories against No. 10 seed Georgia Tech and No. 3 seed Wake Forest.
The Tar Heels rose to 47-11.
Some believe the Canes had already done enough to earn an NCAA at-large berth after they defeated the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday in 13 innings and the Demon Deacons on Friday.
The Canes came into Saturday with the nation’s No. 39 RPI, which had risen dramatically since winning seven of their past nine games before the loss to UNC. They came from behind in both ACC tournament games.
But UM and coach Jim Morris knew a victory over the Tar Heels would have all but sealed their place in the NCAA postseason.
Had they won Saturday, the Hurricanes would have met Florida State (38-20) on Sunday in the ACC championship game. The Seminoles defeated Duke 5-1 in the other semifinal.
UM took a 3-0 lead in the first inning Saturday, but the Tar Heels, down 3-2 during the rain delay, scored two more runs in the fourth after the game resumed.
UM never recovered.
Jesse Lepore (1-6, 4.83 ERA), who hasn’t won since opening night of the season, took the loss.
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee is meeting this weekend and will announce late Sunday the 16 sites chosen to host the NCAA regionals.
Miami will have to travel should it receive an NCAA bid.
The tournament field of 64 will be announced at noon Monday on ESPN2.