Buzzketball Takes Revenge Against Wake Forest, 99-90

Zach LeDay and friends score 62 points in the second half, as the Hokies move on in the ACC Tournament.

[Atlantic Coast Conference \ David Welker]

You could see it the moment he took his jacket off in the first half.

Blood oozed around the left shoulder of Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams. As the stain seeped through his dress shirt, no one could look away. ESPN's Sean McDonough and Doris Burke kept talking about it, and even the trainers had to take a look. Much like his team's first 20 minutes, it was inexplicable, weird, and generally unpleasant to look at.

But unlike the wound, Tech rallied. The Hokies beat Wake Forest 99-90 in the second round of the ACC Tournament, an impressive performance against a squad that beat them in Blacksburg just four days prior.

On Saturday, the Demon Deacons took what they wanted on both ends. After a hot start, Tech couldn't score, couldn't get a stop, and couldn't do much of anything else.

The beginning of the game in the Barclay's Center looked to be more of the same. All-conference big man John Collins controlled the paint, and the Wake shooters bombed from deep.

But there was one Hokie who did not seem impressed by the future first round pick.

Zach LeDay had his senior day ruined by the Deacs. He lost on his home floor for just the second time this season, and had an impressive double-double (24 points, 10 boards) wiped away in defeat.

This time around? The senior was not to be denied.

Is Collins bigger than him? Yes. Is Collins a better pro prospect than him? Yes. Is Collins the only all-ACC player of the two? Yep.

Did it matter? Absolutely. Not.

It wasn't pretty, but LeDay's game never is. He scrapped, clawed, pivoted, rebounded, and scowled his way to dominate his opponent. The senior finished with a career high 31 points,15 rebounds, and got to the free throw line a game-best 18 times.

Most importantly, he never backed down. Even when Collins plowed him over on a fast break, pushed him over in the post, or got a hand on one of his shots. Through sheer determination, LeDay kept the Hokies close.

Early on, he drained a three to cut the Wake lead to one. Later, he grabbed key offensive boards when things were tied. When Tech needed someone to bail them out of a few bad possessions, LeDay was their man.

"I just didn't want to go home," he said. "It was just looking bad. We weren't playing as hard as we needed to, so I wanted to try to get my team some energy and some fight, and that ended up helping our whole team and getting us all the way right to play together and play as hard as we needed to win in the second half."

"He's like the engine to the team," said fellow senior Seth Allen. "I think that, when he's rebounding like he did today, it takes pressure off the guards because he's down there 6'5", 6'6" rebounding with one of the best bigs in the league."

(Did I just add that quote because Seth accidentally outed Zach's real height? Yes, yes I did.)

Allen unleashed his full bag of lefty tricks to score 18. Ty Outlaw shook off a slow start to hit four triples post-intermission. Point guard Justin Robinson rolled his ankle (a development to watch), but still dished seven assists and pulled the offensive strings.

Tech scored 62 points in the final 20 minutes, and now sprints forward to a quarterfinal matchup against second seeded Florida State.

As for the blood on Buzz's shirt? Well, just let him tell you:

Q. You were bleeding through your shirt. What is that?
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's the dumbest thing ever. I went to Nordstrom yesterday and was looking for a maroon tie, and they sold a white shirt that had maroon on it, and I was like, we got to get that.

Q. What's the bleeding from?
COACH WILLIAMS: It was maroon.

Q. It's maroon?
COACH WILLIAMS: The shirt.

Q. Bleeding through, showing through --
COACH WILLIAMS: No, maroon, as in the color of the shirt.

Q. I get the color.
COACH WILLIAMS: Maroon.

What a weird guy.

A look towards Florida State:

The Seminoles will be a tough test. They blasted the Hokies 93-78 in Tallahassee early in January, but that was before Tech's offensive renaissance.

So what has to happen for the Hokies to win? A few things:

1. FSU isn't a great shooting team. And if Tech can put pressure on Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (aka not give up the number of open looks they normally do), the Noles may struggle to score. And if there's one thing Buzz's bunch can do, it's put points on the board.

2. LeDay needs to play out of his mind again. Last month, Notre Dame beat FSU in South Bend without hitting an impressive number of threes (7-22, 32%). How'd they do it? Bonzie Colson played out of his mind. The similarly stout Colson had 33 points, and his success forced the Noles to play small. Size is the biggest advantage FSU has over Tech, so LeDay's success means limiting that.

3. During their last meeting, the Hokies went 4-15 from three. That can't happen. Tech needs to stretch the floor as much as they can to make up for their lack of height.

If all of those things happen, it should be a close game down the stretch. And if it's tight late, anything can happen.

Comments

In other good news, Auburn lost to Missouri so another P5 Bubble team is gone just in case there is still angst about our chances.

The only thing bursting that Tech fans need to worry about is whatever's in Buzz's shoulder.

Live look in at Buzz's shoulder

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Buzz in the second half:

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Leg for using the Spaceballs version.

I don't know how much you could see of it on TV, but Ledays fight on defense was incredible. Collins had to work his ass off every possession just to get the ball. I absolutely love watching Leday play. You can't teach heart, and that guy has more of it than anyone I can remember.

Rip his freaking head off!

31 and 15, fuckin a! He's a freaking beast.

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

So true! Love me some Zach LeDay!

"Stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!" - William Addison Caldwell, 1872

The way he kept fighting to front Collins all game was remarkable. Making an All-ACC caliber player, potential 1st rounder at that, work for every possession and use every bit of talent he has was majestic. Can't forget LeDay's work on the offensive side, and causing Collins to foul out (only 2 times all year). Just an impressive all around day for Zach!

1-0

The cheery on the top was him finally smiling at the end of the game, just after a career high game. Don't think he'll be able to muscle out FSU's posts but hey with heart.....you never know.

And speaking of heart.....anyone else have a minor heart arrhythmia during the last minute after WF hit the third 3 in a row?

JRob was messing with him to make him start smiling

Rip his freaking head off!

I may have said a few unkind words after the three (or was it 4) 3-pointers in a row.......

But VT never plays stressful games!

Buzz wasn't at #GetBetter this morning according to the Twitterverse. #shouldergate

Always choose joy.

I was scared for a bit in that 2nd half but they came back, upset of fsu today would be nice to make sure that ticket is punched

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

We could lose by 30 tonight and the ticket would still be punched

"My favorite cocktail is bourbon on ice. It makes the ice taste better." - Jimmy Russell

I think even the most pessimistic of Hokies would have to agree that after last night's win, we are 100% in.

Maybe like, 0.4%.

That we dont make it.

One of the most pessimistic Hokies here... I am feeling good about our chances. Last night's win was a statement.

If we're not in come selection Sunday, i'm rioting in the streets of Boston. I'll find all 6 other VT grads up here and we'll raise hell!

I'm in!

I know that you are being facetious, but there are a hell of a lot more than that in Boston. I will gladly raise hell with you.

2/6 - only 4 more to go! Watch out NCAA selection committee!

I believed that so many times under greenberg, not gonna believe it till I see us in the bracket

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Yup. 4 times bitten, 8 times shy

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Show me our bad loss.

That's why we're not really in any danger of missing out. In those Greenberg years we always had that horrible loss on our resume that we just don't have this year. There's a reason that we're not even being mentioned in the bubble conversation, and the selection is in 3 days. A loss to someone who will likely be a 2 or a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the ACC Tournament isn't going to send us from the 7/8 seed line to completely left out altogether.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Yep, this teams resume is superior to 2010 and 2011. RPI is much higher than in those years and no bad losses, as you said.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I get it, but at this point it's dumb to think we're not in. When there's talk of us being a 7 seed, there's absolutely zero chance we are left out.

We won't be left out after tonight.

FSU was above their usual percentages from beyond the arc and from the charity stripe, about 5 points better than their average and we were about 7 points worse than ours. Those scoring differentials make up a potential 12 point difference.

Also, starting with the 2nd half of the UVA game, our 3pt percentages have been amazingly better (83 of 175 for a 47.4% clip) as has our FT% (129 of 160 for 80.6%). Both of which are well above our season long averages of 40.5 and 73.2%, respectively.

Given the number of shots taken in our last meeting with FSU, that would account for a potential 6 point swing in our favor.

FSU's home court advantage, according to predictionmachine is 4.5 points over neutral.

So, the degenerate in me would say that if we can shoot our average, plus our improved average over the last 7.5+ 2 OT games, and FSU's output dips to their season long averages, and subtract their loss of home court advantage, there is the potential for a 25 point swing in the Hokies' favor. Considering FSU won the first meeting by 15, that would bode very well for us.

Plus we are 2-0 against FSU in the ACC Tournament. So we got that going for us.

We are also 3-0 in rematch games versus opponents we have lost to this season. I am optimistic.

Uh...

Yes!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Goldeneye will always get a leg from me. First Bond movie I ever watched (born in '92, y'all calm down) and it's the reason that Brosnan will forever be #1 on my Bond list

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

Born in 91, and same. It's amazing how few people seem to accept that as the perfectly valid reasoning it is

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Born in 83 and Goldeneye really introduced me to the James Bond series. Between that movie the Goldeneye 64, whenever I think of Bond, I hear the Goldeneye soundtrack in my head.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Goldeneye on N64 was a classic!

psh, who doesn't play on Big Head mode tho?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Slappers Only, bruh!

Geesh....I graduated college in 83 and had been married four years in 91......And I remember Sean Connery as Bond. I suddenly feel old.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Speaking of the Goldeneye soundtrack, a friend showed me the "Gold N' Fly" remixes on Youtube a while back. Someone took all of the different levels' songs and mashed them up with well-known rap songs. Pretty catchy.

Was an ugly start, but they got it done in the 2nd half. Thought for sure with the miracle 75 footer at half that we were doomed.

That whole series was disheartening. We get within 2 with an and-1 from Leday then they march down the court and get a goaltending call followed immediately by a miracle 3. Boom. A close game becomes a 7 point game in no time at all.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

The defensive breakdown in the last couple minutes was unbelievable. No communication on the switch and post the free throws, no one hustled back with urgency. I'm sure Buzz drilled that point in the post game and hopefully there is a change of pace during the final stretch of the game.

Seth Allen had the quietest 18 points of his career. Just a lot of drives where he didn't get the foul call. Very few bad shots, only two turnovers. Good stuff. I liked his tenacity on defense in the 2nd half, he really challenged Crawford and Childress. (Childress is going to be a pain in the ass to play against the next few years, you can see his youth is just holding him back a little)

Hill didn't truly outplay Crawford, but he had 13 to Crawfords 21. A much better game by Med. I'm wondering if his knee has taken some of the zap out of him attacking the rim, he pump faked the corner 3 about thrice last night and drove, but each time, declined to take a shot and passed out.

JRob has stones.

I love John Collins game, but I told my 12 year old son last night, "Collins coach, Danny Manning, was John Collins skill + he could shoot the three and bring the ball up the court at 6'9". He was magnificent."

Seth almost lost the ball a bunch more but was able to recover it. Wake was doing a great job at hacking at the ball.

He seemed off in the first half. But Childress' on ball defense on Allen was impressive as well. Really pushed him out to 35 feet.

Q. You were bleeding through your shirt. What is that?
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's the dumbest thing ever. I went to Nordstrom yesterday and was looking for a maroon tie, and they sold a white shirt that had maroon on it, and I was like, we got to get that.

Q. What's the bleeding from?
COACH WILLIAMS: It was maroon.

Q. It's maroon?
COACH WILLIAMS: The shirt.

Q. Bleeding through, showing through --
COACH WILLIAMS: No, maroon, as in the color of the shirt.

Q. I get the color.
COACH WILLIAMS: Maroon.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

3 theories

notice whose tweet is embedded in the article.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

notice whose tweet is embedded in the article.

we're kind of a big deal.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Forget that jumble of nonsense, peep the comment section. Nadia Khan's

friend's half-sister maKes $68 an hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for ten months but last month her pay was $19038

20 grand a month on 'the laptop'.. Why do i even go to work?

I mean...I'm on my laptop all the time, why am I not getting paid for this?

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

apparently "your laptop" is not "the laptop"

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

My laptop

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

With the win last night, I finally think the ticket has been punched. Now I am hoping for other bubble teams to lose and URI to win. They have 21 wins and are currently the 69th team listed in most brackets, first out. I want them to make it as well.

Same, I'd like to see the Rams in it. Providence should be in. I dont know when the last time 2 teams from RI made the big dance.

I'd really like to see the Rams take the A-10 tourney. VCU and Dayton are comfortably in. I'm getting sick of the Archie Miller/Dayton run. Take a new job already damnit.

Is it just me or are Archie Miller and Will Wade the most man-boy looking coaches in all of College Basketball?

Man, I am going to miss LeDay. That sequence in the gif is everything I love watching in basketball.
Also,

Much like his team's first 20 minutes, it was inexplicable, weird, and generally unpleasant to look at.

Is just wonderful.

Any word on Robinson's ankle? If it's moderate to severe would Buzz bench him tonight in favor of being rested for the NCAA tournament?

Buzz will do what's best for the player. I don't know exactly what that is, but its what he does.

If we pull off the upset, this thing suddenly becomes the NC vs Va

Which is kind of exactly what VT basketball has been needing.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Honestly, I know we beat LOLUVA and not ND this year, but I don't want to play the wahoos again. That brand of basketball just sucks.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).