Hokies Beat Seminoles by a Fingertip 52-51, Advance to Semifinals vs Duke

WOW. There’s not much more you can say to describe what happened late Friday night in Greensboro. Erick Green, who hit just one of his first 12 shots, made a jumper with 4.7 seconds remaining, and Derwin Kitchen’s potential buzzer-beater, originally called good, was waved off, giving Virginia Tech a dramatic 52-51 over Florida State in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Tech trailed by five at the last media timeout, but Victor Davila made two free throws (yes, really) to bring Tech within three. After an FSU travel, Manny Atkins, who had perhaps his best game of the season, nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 49 with 3:04 remaining.

After a nearly two-minute scoring drought, Florida State’s Terrance Shannon knocked home a tip-in to give the Seminoles a 51-49 lead with 1:08 to go. Tech’s Malcolm Delaney was fouled on the ensuing possession, but made just one of the two free throws.

With just a six-second differential between the play clock and the shot clock, the Hokies didn’t know whether or not to foul, but FSU coach Leonard Hamilton inexplicably called timeout with 25 seconds remaining to allow the Hokies time to set up their defense. On the ensuing inbounds play, the ‘Noles got the ball to Michael Snaer, but Jeff Allen ripped the ball out of his hands, forcing FSU’s 20th turnover, to set the Hokies up for the potential game-winner.

Hokies Beat FSU, Clock 52-51 Will Face Duke Tomorrow

JLM-Hokie summed this game up perfectly with one statistic, "Most amazing stat of the night... Victor Davila was 100% from the foul line." With these Hokies expect the unexpected. I'm damn proud of this team tonight. I've been critical (but I think fair) during their struggles, and tonight with 5:01 left they sacked up. Allen, Delaney and Davila all had four fouls, all had to stay in and finish. And they did, they played with poise and heart, and became leaders on the floor. It was fitting that Erick Green who only made one other bucket the entire night hit would we be the game winner. Expect the unexpected.

Even though I hope he's out until all hours enjoying the victory in Greensboro and sleeps in until tip against Duke I'm sure Kevin will have a complete summary tomorrow. Until then, I offer up these pictures, please caption them as you see fit.

Hokies Knock Off Georgia Tech 59-43, Face FSU in Quarterfinals

Virginia Tech got off to a fantastic 15-2 start and coasted to a 59-43 over Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament Thursday night in Greensboro. The win advances the Hokies into the quarterfinals tonight against third-seeded Florida State at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Tech played tremendous defense throughout the 40 minutes, limiting the Jackets to the lowest point total in the Paul Hewitt era, which more than likely ended Thursday night. Georgia Tech missed 10 of it first 11 shots to allow the Hokies to get out to the 15-2 advantage.

The Hokies continued their hot shooting the remainder of the half, shooting 50 percent in the first 20 minutes, while holding the Jackets to 23 percent shooting. Tech opened up the lead to 30-11 with less than eight minutes to go before the Jackets went on a 8-0 run to get back within 11, but they could never get any closer.

Leading by 17 at halftime, Tech conserved energy while not letting the Jackets get within 15. The Hokies expanded their advantage to 24 with less than nine minutes to go at 55-31. Over the final nine minutes, the Hokies scored just four points playing a four-corner style of offense with the game in hand. Meanwhile, Tech limited GT to 43 points, the second-lowest total in ACC Tournament history.

ACC Tournament Preview: Georgia Tech

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (19-10, 9-7 ACC) vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-17, 5-11 ACC)

When: Thursday, March 10 @ approx. 9:20 p.m.

TV: ACC Network/ESPN2

Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

The Opponent:The Hokies enter the 2011 ACC Championship in need of a couple wins to assure a spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament. After failing to take care of business against fellow bubble teams Boston College and Clemson in the last week of the season, Tech finds itself squarely on the bubble with a slow of other similar teams.

Tech’s journey starts Thursday night against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-17, 5-11 ACC). The two teams split the season series, with each winning on its home floor. In the last meeting on February 13 in Blacksburg, the Hokies dominated the Jackets to the tune of a 102-77 victory. Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen had monster games scoring 33 and 25, respectively. Allen added 14 rebounds in the 25-point victory. Iman Shumpert scored 27 for Georgia Tech, including 6-of-13 from deep.

State of the Hokies Basketball Program

Ladies and gentlemen the state of the Hokie basketball program is fundamentally strong. I understand that is a hard idea for some to embrace after the last two games. The past two games have been really disappointing, from personal experience I've had clouded judgement a few times which resulted in disappointment, but don't let the last two games cloud your judgement of the Hokies basketball program.

Hokies to Face Georgia Tech Thursday in ACC Tournament

After falling to Clemson Saturday afternoon, the Hokies lost the opportunity for a first-round bye and ended up as the No. 6 seed in this week's ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC. Tech ended up in a three-way tie for fourth with Clemson and Boston College at 9-7 in the conference, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with both teams.

As a result, the Hokies will play the late game, scheduled to start at 9 p.m., on Thursday night against Georgia Tech, who finished 5-11 in conference. If Tech were to advance past the Jackets, they would face No. 3 seed Florida State in the last game Friday night.

To make the NCAA Tournament, the Hokies will more than likely need to win both of those games on back-to-back nights. Below is the schedule for the ACC Tournament:

First Round--Thursday
-- Game 1 (12pm, ACC Network) No. 8 UVA vs No. 9 Miami
-- Game 2 (2pm, ACC Network) No. 5 Boston College vs No. 12 Wake Forest

-- Game 3 (7pm, ESPN2) No. 7 Maryland vs No. 9 NC State
-- Game 4 (9pm, ACC Network) No. 6 Virginia Tech vs No. 11 Georgia Tech

Quarterfinals--Friday
-- Game 5 (12pm, ACC Network/ESPN2) No. 1 North Carolina vs Game 1 Winner
-- Game 6 (2pm, ACC Network/ESPN2) No. 4 Clemson vs Game 2 Winner

Oh look it's Frank Beamer Wearing a WVU Hat

Since we were right in the thick of the changes to the coaching staff I decided to back-burner this until now. Also, what I saw abhorred me.

A couple of weeks ago Twitter via @vatechsports alerted me to the fact that not only was Coach Beamer in attendance of the February 18th Brad Paisley concert in Roanoke, but he also came on stage during the song "Alcohol". Awesome. I asked for pictures and Amanda (@paeza) answered the call.

I was shocked however when I saw this.

From Amanda:

During the song, Brad walks up to shake hands with Frank Beamer, and somehow manages to get a WVU hat on his head. Coach was laughing and some pictures were taken to commemorate the moment. When the crowd realized it was a WVU hat, the mood was more "that silly Brad Paisley" than "torches and pitchforks". The hat was on his head for less than 30 seconds. I'm sure if it was on any longer, the hat would have started to burn from the awesomess it was encountering. Coach then took the hat off, laughed, threw it to the ground, and stomped it. The crowd went WILD and all was right with the world again."

Clemson Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (19-9, 9-6 ACC) @ Clemson Tigers (19-10, 8-7 ACC)

When: Saturday, March 4 @ 12:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Where: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC

The Opponent: The Hokies finish off their regular season with a trip to Clemson, SC for a pivotal bubble battle against the Clemson Tigers. A win against Clemson Saturday would assure the Hokies of a much –needed first round bye in the ACC Tournament with the potential to be as high as the No. 3 seed. A loss Saturday puts Tech into the first round on Thursday with the possibility of being as low as the No. 6 seed.

This weekend, FSU plays at NC State and Boston College hosts Wake Forest. Here’s a full list of Tech’s tournament scenarios:

  • No. 3 seed: VT win + FSU loss
  • No. 4 seed: VT win + FSU win
  • No. 5 seed: VT loss + BC loss
  • No. 6 seed: VT loss + BC win

Obviously, this game has huge implications, as Clemson is attempting to make the NCAA Tournament and will be handling the emotions on Senior Day. The Tigers are coming off a 70-59 loss to Duke on Wednesday, but played extremely well on the road.

Senior Night Disaster: BC 76, Hokies 61

Well that momentum didn't last long. Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over No. 1 Duke Saturday, the Hokies came out with no energy, suffering their worst regular season home loss since 2007 in a 76-61 setback to Boston College. The loss moves Tech squarely back to the bubble with little room for error in the season's final two weeks.

Tech got off to a good start in the game's first minute, scoring the first four points. That was about it for the good news, however, as Boston College went on a 32-10 run over the next 12 minutes to open a 18-point lead at the under-8 minute media timeout. The Hokies seemed to finally wakeup after the timeout, finishing the half on a 13-3 run to work their way back into the game at halftime, trailing 35-27. The main problem for Tech was the lack of defensive intensity. BC had numerous open shots early on, connecting on seven three-pointers in the half (on 13 attempts) as opposed to just six two-pointers (on 14 attempts).

Boston College Live Blog

The Duke win, while epic and necessary, isn't enough to get us into The Dance. Join us at 9:00 PM for another "must win". The live blog is after the jump.

Boston College (Game 2) Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (19-8, 9-5 ACC) @vs Boston College Eagles (17-11, 7-7 ACC)

When: Tuesday, March 1 @ 9:00 p.m.

TV: ESPNU

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over No. 1 Duke on Saturday night, the Hokies finish off their home schedule with Senior Night against Boston College. Tonight's ceremony, scheduled to start at 8:45 p.m., will honor one of Tech's greatest senior classes in Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, and Terrell Bell. Walk-ons Prince Parker and Andrew Griffin will also be honored before the game.

BC comes in to town after a 63-44 victory at Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Since these two teams played about a month ago, the Eagles have lost 3 of 5, but all three losses have been by single digits. Simply put, this is a must-win game for BC if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. Their home loss to Miami last Wednesday was an absolute killer for their tournament hopes. In addition, BC can claim the series sweep and have an opportunity to catch Tech for 4th in the ACC with a victory.

Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup:

Virginia Tech Perseveres, Upsets #1 Duke 64-60

It doesn't get much better than this. Trailing by six in the game's final seven minutes, Virginia Tech used a 17-7 run to come back and knock off the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils 64-60 Saturday night in Cassell Coliseum. The win was Tech's 4th against team's ranked No. 1 and the third time in the last five years they've knocked off the top ranked team in the land.

The win strengthened Tech's chances at an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament, as it improved to 9-5 in the ACC with two games to play. Duke lost for just the second time in conference play this season and was bounced from the No. 1 spot just one week after it reclaimed its' position atop the polls.

Playing with a passion not seen this year, the Hokies got out to a fast start leading 9-4, but couldn't take advantage of the cold-shooting Blue Devils. Duke responded by taking it's first lead of the game at 16-14 with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. Facing a deficit for the first time in the contest, Tech countered with a 15-6 run to open their largest lead of the night at 29-22. The Devils would not go away, roaring back to get within two at halftime at 33-31.

Hokie Happenings: GameDay in Blacksburg

Your sights and sounds of Blacksburg or wherever Hokie Nation is headed.

I am sure Kevin's recap of the Duke upset will be up later this evening or tomorrow after he's through covering the Hokies on the diamond, but for now I offer up the best signs I saw at GameDay. By the way, the atmosphere at GameDay was electric. The students came, saw and conquered. At one point the production crew had to signal everyone to quiet down because they couldn't hear Bob Knight be salty.

@TheHokieStone made this and @frinkahedron captured it outside of The Cassell waiting for GameDay to start. I owe them both a beer.

No. 1 Duke Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (18-8, 8-5 ACC) vs #1 Duke Blue Devils (26-2, 12-1 ACC)

When: Saturday, February 26 @ 9:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time. We’ve been thinking of this weekend since the season began. It’s time to get off your rear end and get out to Cassell for what many are calling the most important game in Virginia Tech basketball history. You know the setup: ESPN broadcasting College Gameday from Cassell, the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils coming to town, and a national broadcast of the game at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Need I say more? if that doesn’t get you pumped for this weekend, you might need to check your pulse.

This isn’t your older brother’s College Gameday. This, as Seth Greenberg so eloquently stated in another letter to the student body is an infomercial for the Hokie Nation. People know Virginia Tech as a football school and it’s time to show the nation that we are ready to become a two-sport school and we have the crowd support to do it.

Looking ahead to 2012 Recruiting

Editor's Note: The perfect segue from this morning's post.

This year more than ever, I got into the nitty-gritty of following VT recruiting, spending entirely too much time concerned over the decision-making process of 17 and 18 year old strangers. I definitely picked the wrong year to take it so seriously. No reason to stop now.

Here's a list of the early top-25 players for the state of Virginia:

What are your thoughts? Who do we need a most? Who do we have no shot at?

Hokies Coast Past Wake Forest 76-62

Virginia Tech did what it had to do on the road in Winston-Salem Tuesday night, taking care of business with a 76-62 win over Wake Forest. The win improves Tech to 8-5 in the ACC and sets the stage for a showdown on a national stage with Duke on Saturday.

The Hokies got off to a slow start, leading by just two at 20-18 with six minutes to go in the first, but went on an 18-7 run to finish the half and open up a 13-point advantage at halftime. The spurt was keyed by two three-pointers from Jarell Eddie, playing in his first game since being charged with possession of marijuana last week. He did not play in Saturday's loss at UVA. Tech shot 56 percent in the first half, highlighted by the 6-for-10 performance in the last six minutes. Even more impressive was that the Hokies did all of that despite turning the ball over 11 times in the first 20 minutes.

It was much of the same shooting-wise for the Hokies in the second half, quickly expanding their advantage to 20 points in the first six minutes at 51-31. The lead swelled to 21 at 69-48 with six minutes remaining before Wake Forest hit some shots at the end to close the final margin to 14, the Deacs' second-lowest margin of defeat in ACC play this year.

Eddie had his best game as a Hokie, scoring 17 points to set a new career-high, surpassing his old total of 12 set last month against Wake Forest. The freshman from Charlotte was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

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