CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- In more than 20 years coaching the sport Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor has seen the game of college baseball from every angle, but nothing quite compares to a week at the ACC Tournament.

"NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals are hard to win," O'Connor said, "But I think this tournament might be even more challenging because you're going to have eight or nine teams that are going to be playing in the ACC Tournament this week that are deserving to play in the NCAA Tournament next weekend."

Virginia enters the ACC Tournament in Durham as the No. 2 seed, the program's highest seed since last winning the tournament in 2011, after winning the ACC Coastal Division title for the first time since 2011. To O'Connor's point, nine teams enter the week in's latest Field of 64 projections with NC State and Notre Dame on the bubble and five teams in position to host a regional, including UVA as the No. 8 national seed.

"This tournament is a grind, you've got to essentially win four games in a row," O'Connor said.

With finals in the past, the Cavaliers mindset can fully shift to just postseason baseball when they open against Georgia Tech on Wednesday, May 24 in Durham before playing North Carolina on Thursday.

"Things certainly change, especially once you get to the NCAA Tournament, it's must win obviously, so it's true the game is a little different," junior third baseman Jake Gelof said, "Now we're in the thick of the season, so it's doing whatever you can to help the team win."

While postseason play begins this week, Virginia switched to 'playoff' mode a few weeks ago. After dropping three-straight ACC series, the Cavaliers regrouped with the finals break and as a team decided to approach each game as win or go home.

The change was not only in mindset, but also O'Connor changing the pitching rotation with Nick Parker starting on Fridays and Connelly Early in game two and from there every pitcher was available in order to win the game at hand. Since dropping the series at home to Duke, UVA has won nine-straight games to close out the regular season and lock up not only the division title, but a likely regional host bid.

"Think this game is a contagious sport and you ride these waves of confidence and obviously if we can continue to have that going," junior outfielder Ethan O'Donnell said, "I think it will be a contagious year for a long time in the postseason."