Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hokies Lose In NIT Quaterfinals

The Hokies (25-9) lost in the NIT quarterfinals for the third straight year, after tying the school record for victories in a season with a second-round win over UConn. The second-seeded Rhode Island Rams won 79-72 and advanced to the NIT semifinals for the first time since 1946. Tech was 17-2 at home this season, with the other loss coming in double overtime to Maryland.

Malcolm Delaney emerged as one of the best scoring point guards in the nation, averaging an impressive 20.2 points and 4.5 assists per game. The junior from Baltimore, MD led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring in 2010 and was a unanimous selection to the All-ACC first team.

Dorenzo Hudson averaged 15.2 points per game and was key in lifting Tech past Connecticut 65-63 in the second round of the NIT, scoring 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second half.

Jeff Allen averaged 12 points and 7.4 rebounds on the season. He is now the only Hokie to be ranked in the Top 10 in rebounding, steals, and blocks. Only five Hokies rank in the Top 10 in three major categories: Dell Curry (points, assists, and steals), Bimbo Coles (ditto), Ace Custis (points, rebounds, and steals), and Zabian Dowdell (points, assists, and steals), along with Jeff Allen.

Virginia Tech's Best Seasons:

Season Record Result
'09-10 25-9 Lost in NIT quaterfinals
'94-95 25-10 Won NIT championship
'95-96 23-6 Lost in NCAA second round
'82-83 23-11 Lost in NIT second round

When They Were On The Bubble:

Despite the loss to Miami in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, Virginia Tech should still safely be in the NCAA Tournament. Enough bubble teams have been "popped" that the Selection Committee shouldn't have to spend much time when discussing the Hokies on Sunday afternoon.

Earler in the week we saw Seton Hall, Memphis and UAB get knocked to the wrong side of the bubble, and Dayton went down tonight. With those three teams looking like they are out right now, Virginia Tech should feel pretty safe. Even if a couple of other bubble teams work their way in, such as Rhode Island or Mississippi State, it shouldn't be enough to knock the Hokies out of the field of 65.

There are arguments for and against Virginia Tech. Well, to be more accurate, there is just one argument against them: their strength of schedule. Their strength of schedule is significantly lower than that of the other bubble teams, and it's also the worst of 12 ACC teams.

However, that one negative shouldn't be enough to overshadow the positive things the Hokies have accomplished this year.
  • 23-8 overall record
  • 10-6 ACC record
  • Tied for 3rd in the ACC standings
  • 3 top 50 RPI wins

No 10-6 ACC team has ever been left out of the NCAA tournament. Considering the relatively weak bubble field this year, Virginia Tech is not likely to be the first.

Wake Forest has lost 5 of their last 6 games. They were blown out by Miami in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. They finished below Virginia Tech in the ACC standings, have a worse overall record, and the Hokies beat them head to head.

Clemson lost to #11 seed NC State in the opening round of the ACC tournament. They finished below Virginia Tech in the ACC standings, and the Hokies beat them head to head.

Tech finished 10-6 in the ACC, Clemson and Wake went 9-7, and the Hokies beat both head to head. Tech also has a better overall record than both of those teams. Both the Tigers and Demon Deacons are considered safely in the NCAA tournament right now, so why shouldn't Virginia Tech?

Simple: the bracketologists are looking only at the strength of schedule of Wake and Clemson, while choosing to ignore the fact that the Hokies outperformed them in those other categories.

While some of those bracketologists are making a fuss out of the situation, I don't think the Selection Committee will give it much thought. The Hokies have simply done too many good things this year to keep them out of the NCAA tournament.

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