The Heartbreak Kids, otherwise known as the Virginia Tech Hokies menâ€™s hoops team, were back in action on Saturday night, and wouldnâ€™t you know it, yet another gut wrenching, rip your heart out and stomp it defeat. This time 67-65 at the hands of the florida state seminoles. And this one really hurt. The game of basketball is a game of inches and they say everything evens out eventually. That being said, with the Hokies down by two on the final possession, Iâ€™ve never in my life had more confidence in one shot going in than when A.D. Vassallo launched that three from the top of the key. Reality struck when the ball hit nothing but the back of the rim as the final horn sounded. Another game, another heartbreaking loss. Though this one seemed a bit more cruel than the others. This was a must win and the Hokies appeared to have put themselves in perfect position to bring home the all important W.
To say that the ball just doesnâ€™t seem to be bouncing our way this season would be the understatement of the year. Kind of like saying the economy is not very good right now. With the roles reversed, give any other player on any other team on Techâ€™s schedule the open look at the buzzer that A.D. had and you just KNOW that sucker is going in, much to the dismay of Hokies everywhere. Give credit to Greenberg for drawing up the play to get an open look. The execution was flawless, with the one obvious exception.
The amazing thing is that this team continues to battle. The second half against fsu was a very gutsy performance just to get back into the contest. With 25 points, including 5-8 from 3-point land, Malcolm Delaney showed that he is out of his recent shooting slump, which is certainly somewhat of a silver lining in an otherwise devastating defeat.
For the first time in his coaching career, a team coached by Seth Greenberg opened up in a zone. Interesting move, but to say this move backfired would be yet another humongous understatement. As usual, a team that had been a statistically poor shooting team coming in, shot lights out. Before you knew it, the Hokies were down 25-11 and clearly looked like they hadnâ€™t yet recovered from back to back road losses to maryland and uva.
Zones have worked throughout this season when used from time to time during games to stem opponentsâ€™ runs. For some reason though, the Hokies didnâ€™t show the fire defensively that they did after they eventually settled back into their man to man. My guess is that this will be the one and only time that you see the Hokies open in a zone under Greenberg.
Outside of back to back wins over duke and unc and stealing a win on the road in rematches versus clemson or fsu, the Hokies are the longest of long shots now for the NCAA Tournament. The good news is that itâ€™s right there in front of them. If they want to get in, they can certainly go out and earn it, however much the odds are stacked against it. Three games in a row against top 10 teams is a golden opportunity for a team searching to show they belong in the field. But how can they possibly muster up the mojo to have a shot at any of these games?
Anything besides a blowout loss at clemson on Wednesday night would be a total shock to me at this point. But on the other hand, if there is one team that is all too experienced at recovering from these types of losses, itâ€™s the Hokies. If there is one thing thatâ€™s been shown this season, itâ€™s when the Hokies are at full strength they can compete with any other team. Will things finally start to even out for the Hokies and their much distraught fans? Or will this team continue to be snake bitten? The seasonâ€™s not over and there is still a chance, however small that chance may be.