Blog Entry

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:43 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 11:52 pm
 


Posted by Matt Norlander


I do not come with news to antagonize you, Tech fans.

But a minor news flash to Hokies supporters, and to Dick Vitale, who proclaimed to all listening that Virginia Tech is now, suddenly, a "lock" for an at-large bid: the season's not over, and there's still work to be done.

More than any other fan base, Virginia Tech's should know to be apprehensive at this moment. Enjoy it, but don't puff out your chests too far.

I know, who outside of Durham didn't love that full-on court-storm tonight? An upset of No. 1 in a February Saturday prime time game is of course fanfreakingtastic. But let's not let emotions take over here. It was far and away Va. Tech's best win of its season, which is more of an indictment than it looks to be on the surface.

Before tonight, the best wins Seth Greenberg's team could boast about: a sweep of Maryland, who hasn't done jack against anybody. Toss in the wins against Penn State, Oklahoma State and Florida State, and yeah, with this upset of Duke, it's a ledger that now looks good against a lot of teams.

But the Hokies have to avoid the bad loss late, which is something that's plagued them three straight years. Beat fellow bubble brethren Boston College at home Wednesday, then go on the road and take care of Clemson next Saturday. Finish at 21-8 overall and 11-6 in the conference and no first-round loss in the ACC tournament will kick Virginia Tech out of the field of 68. I can promise that.

I also promise Virginia Tech isn't a lock as of the end of February.
 
As for the game, the Hokies as much won it as Duke peed it away down its leg in the final minute. Some hideous play from the Devils down the stretch, a sequence of events that reads like this on the play-by-play chart. (I edited out the inconsequential or positive Virginia Tech plays.)

31.0 59-62 DUKE Kyle Singler missed 3-pt. Jump Shot
30.0   DUKE Personal foul on Andre Dawkins
25.0 59-62 DUKE Nolan Smith missed Free Throw
25.0   DUKE Offensive Rebound by Mason 25.0
23.0   VATECH Personal foul on Jeff Allen
23.0 60-62 DUKE Mason Plumlee made 1st of 2 Free Throws
23.0 60-62 DUKE Mason Plumlee missed 2nd of 2 Free Throws
23.0   VATECH Defensive Rebound by Jeff 23.0
21.0   DUKE Personal foul on Kyle Singler
1.0   DUKE Bad pass turnover on Seth Curry
1.0   DUKE Personal foul on Seth Curry

"What's up with Singler?" is something that will be talked about to its beating-a-dead-horse breaking point this weak in the Triangle. Another issue for another post here, certainly.

The secondary thing to take away from this game would be the fact we've had another weekend with top teams tumbling. Four of the top 10 lost, and Duke became the third top-five team to drop Saturday, along with San Diego State and Texas. Arizona was the other highly ranked group to get cut down to size.

The third is the topic of one seeds, and does Duke now fall outside the top four teams. Ohio State, Kansas, Pitt, as of tonight, are the no-brainers. Duke and BYU is the battle. It's a fun debate for now, but both have the conference tournaments to settle it, with a couple others still giving chase, too. That's all addressed here and here and here. We've got you covered, no doubt. Hope you've enjoyed your Saturday slate of hoops on the tube and here at the blog.

Good God, this sport is fantastic.

Photo: AP

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Comments

Since: Mar 25, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

only brainless would say pitt as #1 is no brainer.  i hope pitt gets #1 so they'll be first #1 to lose to #16.  Does any BE teams look they can survive sweet-16?  Maybe ONE and it's name doesn't start with "P".



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2011 11:45 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

   Wow, what a poorly writen article. It looks like the only way VT does not get in the field of 68 is if they lose their last 2 games, AND lose in the first round of the ACC tourney, and even that might still get them in if non bubble teams do not take away spots from the last few teams by winning conference tourneys. VT is is in solid shape now, way ahead of other bubble teams. Losses to Clemson and BC would not be terrible losses, or "bad losses late" as the writer put it, and would leave them at 9-7 and 19-10. Win a game in the ACC tourney and their 20 win resume would still look as good or better than other bubble teams out there.

Have you seen some of the resumes of the other bubble teams? Obviously, the writer has not, which shows another example of poor sportswriting. The guy said they need to beat BC AND win on the road at Clemson? That is ridiculous. Beating BC alone puts them in no matter what happens against Clemson and in the first round of the tourney. Bottom line: just win one more game somewhere to feel 100% safe, whether it is home against BC, at Clemson, or in the first round of the ACC tourney. 



Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2011 11:20 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

One of the worst stories I have read in recent years.  I love how you take away from a huge victory, only to tell everyone that Tech is not a lock for the field of 68.  Why not focus on the fact that Tech beat the number one team in the land?  Oh wait, you say that Duke beat themselves, the Hokies defense had nothing to do with holding Duke to 60.  It was a great ACC battle which feature a giant going for a 1 seed and a dangerous bubble with nothing to lose but everything to gain.  Good game by both sides!  Great win Hokies.



Since: Jan 30, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2011 9:08 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

This piece is horribly written with a clear bias. You state that Duke blew the game as much as Virginia Tech won it, and then proceeded to edit out plays you deemed to be inconsequential as well as those that were positive plays for The Hokies? I don't know any circles in which this type of "analysis" would fly.

As also pointed out by another reader, winning the final two games of the regular season puts Tech at 11-5 in conference play, not 11-6. Perhaps you could spend more time getting your facts straight instead of providing analysis (both of which you are deficient in). Also it would be beneficial to learn that spinning facts is poor journalism... editing out what you deemed unimportant, despite some of that information being antithetical to your claim by definition, displays a considerable amount of weakness in your judgment as well as your writing.

Oh yeah, you may also want to rewrite "Finish at 21-8 overall and 11-6 in the conference and no first-round loss in the ACC tournament will kick Virginia Tech out of the field of 68. I can promise that". I can promise you that this sentence doesn't flow smoothly and presents a degree of ambiguity as to what your intended meaning is. Perhaps a comma will do.



Since: Nov 11, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2011 9:07 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

Yes this is true. Not locked in yet. But what a big win it was and a win that was very much needed. Who cares that Duke pissed the game away in the final seconds. A win is a win no matter how you earn it. One thing you forgot to mention. Tech has gone most of this season with no bench. Not that its because of no talent but because of injuries. I honestly believe that if we were not hurt we would be way better than our record shows. We are pretty much playing with five players the whole game. Go Tech, No bubble, No more!



Since: Nov 11, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2011 5:42 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

Yes this is true. Not locked in yet. But what a big win it was and a win that was very much needed. Who cares that Duke pissed the game away in the final seconds. A win is a win no matter how you earn it. One thing you forgot to mention. Tech has gone most of this season with no bench. Not that its because of no talent but because of injuries. I honestly believe that if we were not hurt we would be way better than our record shows. We are pretty much playing with five players the whole game. Go Tech, No bubble, No more!



Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:06 am
 

Negative Nancy

You know the Hokies are starting to build a pretty good program down there in blacksburg. When certain people can only be negative after a huge win against the number one team in the nation thats usually a sign of a team on the rise.  Whats your problem anyway man let the fans celebrate a great win that took place on national television.



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2011 12:21 am
 

Huge W for Va. Tech but not a lock just yet

I do agree with the assesment that my Hokies are not a lock yet. If they win the final two regular season games, end up 11-5 in the ACC (not 11-6 like you erroneously typed), and 21-8 at the end of the regular season they will be in. Especially when you consider the mid-majors are quite a bit weaker this year overall. Even if they lose one of the next two, like maybe the last one AT Clemson, and win a tourney game, I'm pretty sure they're a lock. There is such a thing as OVER ANALYSIS, and I'm pretty sure anyone saying that VT is far from in right now is guilty of that. You may want to spend a few moments analyzing the competition for the tourney this year. Unless of course you feel that all 16 teams from the Big East deserve to be in before anyone that doesn't win their conference tourney.


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