The Chronicles of David Wilson: Winter Break

If one wants to prove that chaos has a schedule, then my winter break routine could be used to attempt to make the argument. After my last exam I'd go hard and blow it out in Blacksburg. The venue was dependent on the year: dorm, apartment party or downtown, but the result was all the same. What looked like a long night would be cut short from overindulgence, libations and greasy-ass food, beers and whatever was cheap followed up usually by a 20-inch Gumby's pizza slathered in ranch dressing. I only rolled on twenties yo. The next morning I'd sell all my books, hop in the car, use the cash to finance my trip home, and haul it north. Once there it was a continuous rotation of eat, sleep, watch football and party. Rinse and repeat until I felt dirty. I'm sure the vast majority of undergrads did and do something similar.

David Wilson does not.

However, after the Orange Bowl David Wilson embarked on a well deserved break, some of which is documented here.

He first decided to visit France for a couple of days, because that's just what intelligent cultured people do. He traveled across Alsace, heard Emmanuel toll at Cathédrale Notre Dame and made his way to Paris.

Of course he just had to climb the Eiffel Tower. I mean, it was there and all. From the top he was able to get as good of a look at the world as the world had of him.

Bethune-Cookman Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (21-11, 11-8 ACC) vs Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (21-12, 13-3 MEAC)

When: Wednesday, March 16 @ 8:00 p.m.

TV: ESPNU

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: After a fourth straight year of disappointment on Selection Sunday, the Hokies start their NIT slate against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats of the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. Woo.

So, you may be asking just who the hell Bethune-Cookman is. Well, the Wildcats are from Daytona Beach, FL and won the regular season MEAC title, but lost to Morgan State in the semifinals of the MEAC tournament. All regular season champions who don’t win their tournament get an automatic bid, so that’s why B-CU is coming to Blacksburg Sunday.

The Wildcats challenged themselves in the out of conference slate by travelling to Arizona, Central Florida, and Baylor. They lost 33, 17, and 44, respectively. B-CU also played the likes of Edward Waters, Florida Christian College, Webber International, Carver Bible, and North Carolina Central. That accounted for six of their wins (they played NC Central twice).

Here’s a look at their starting lineup:

A Belated Happy Birthday to Us

This is a little late, but yesterday we turned one.

I think over the past year The Key Play accomplished everything it initially set out to do, and more.

  • Provide an in depth (un)-biased analysis of Hokie Football.
  • Make jokes, mostly at our own expense.
  • Overreact to every single Bryan Stinespring decision.
  • Overload you with statistics.
  • Have fun.
  • Needle UVA.
  • Breakdown film.

We broke a little bit of news, here, there and there and there and there.

Hokies Set to Send 7 Wrestlers to NCAAs in Philadelphia

*I'm writing this from my phone while sitting in class, so forgive any accidental informational errors or typos.

The Virginia Tech Wrestling team's performance at ACCs was dreadful to say the least. We only came out of the tournament with 3 ACC champs and 4 automatic bids in a conference that we dominated throughout the regular season. Part of this reason is the difference in competition style, during the year we met our ACC foes in a dual meet format and the ACC tournament is an individual tournament format. Nonetheless, the Hokies under performed at ACCs.

Selection Sunday Fallout

I made sure to wear orange and maroon yesterday. Lot's of it. I rocked my 2004 orange effect tee, nearest and dearest to my heart, covered up by a maroon Nike hoodie with a big "VT" embroidered across the chest, and I had my team united wristband on for good measure. I'd be on the train most of the day and I wanted everyone and anyone who passed by to know how proud I was to be a Hokie, proud I was of our team to overcome more than their fair share of adversity and finally break through the stigma of the NIT and into NCAA Tournament. We knew we were going dancing, the invite was just a formality. We're all the lone elementary-schooler left off the list of the cool kid's party, and man, he had a bouncy castle too.

Snubbed, screwed, no, it's more like duped. We believed the "bracketologists" like Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm that we'd be invited, after all they just don't hand bracketology degrees out to anybody, it's like a 6 year graduate program. We believed that a marvelous win over top-ranked Duke would cover the stench of being swept by UVa. We scheduled tough outside the conference, but didn't win big. We thought we clinched by a finger tip.

Hokies Run Out of Gas, Fall to Duke 77-63 in ACC Semis

The Hokies put on a great run in the 2011 ACC Tournament, but fell short in Saturday’s semifinal against second-seeded Duke 77-63. Tech showed signs of fatigue playing its third game in three days and never really challenged the Blue Devils down the stretch.

With the loss, Tech now finds itself at 21-11 and awaits a potential NCAA Tournament berth on Sunday night.

The two teams battled back and forth in the game’s opening minutes before Duke opened up a 10-point advantage thanks to a 12-2 run to make it 26-16 with a little over seven minutes remaining. Duke then held the Hokies at arms length the rest of the half, which was capped off by a Seth Curry three-pointer on the Devils last possession to give Duke a 39-28 lead at the break.

Tech tried to make a run to start the second half, cutting the deficit to 41-35 on an Erick Green jumper with a tad over 17 minutes remaining. Duke immediately responded with a Kyle Singler bucket, and after a Malcolm Delaney turnover, Seth Curry was fouled and hit two free throws to push the lead back up to 10.

Duke played tremendous defense down the stretch, allowing the Hokies to get within single digits just once in the game’s final 16 minutes. Tech’s frustration boiled over late, as Jeff Allen was charged with a dead-ball technical foul and eventually fouled out, scoring just two points.

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.

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