ACC POWER POLL:
The Hokies closed out the first half of ACC play by sweeping unc and clemson at home. Tom Emanski isn’t going to making an instructional videos of the Hokie offense, but Tech found a way to win both games with gritty defense and an inspired effort, fueled by two wild crowds. That puts Tech at 18-4 and 5-3 in the ACC. Only duke has a better record overall at 19-4, and VT now sits in fourth place in the league.
The Hokies were the big movers in my poll, while most of the rest of the league was stagnant. Teams have started to sort themselves out into the leaders (duke and maryland), the middle of the pack (wake, VT, gt, fsu, uva, clemson), and the NIT’ers (unc, bc, nc state, miami):
- duke (-) (7-2 | 19-4): The devils waxed georgia tech at home and then squeezed out a win in Boston. They now face a struggling heels team this week. But the game is at unc so you know heels will give their best, and be the underdogs for once.
- maryland (-) (6-2 | 16-6): The terps rebounded from a loss at clemson by winning at fsu and crushing unc at home. Their offense leads the league in scoring and their veteran lineup is feasting on the young ACC teams.
- wake forest (^) (6-3 | 16-5): wake beat miami and home and held off the hoos in ch’ville in overtime. Big win to move them into third and drop the hoos to fourth. The deacons swept the hoos.
- georgia tech (v) (5-4 | 17-6): Stop the presses – the jackets lost on the road and won at home this week. They continue to be the worst road team ever. I would have put the Hokies here at #4, but VT has to play the other tech in Atlanta, so advantage gt.
- VIRGINIA TECH (^^) (5-3 | 18-4): Solid sweep of the tigers and heels. I’m just surprised the referees’ whistles still worked by the end of the games since the peas had to be worn out.
- fsu (v) (5-4 | 17-6): The noles lost at home to maryland, getting swept by the terps. But they rebounded to beat miami at home.
- clemson (v) (4-5 | 16-7): The tigers lost their only game of the week to VT and now have lost four of five. The good news is PG Demontez Stitt is back.
- uva (-) (5-3 | 14-7): I still cannot get excited about a team where four of their league wins are against nc state (2), unc, and miami, who are a combined 6-19 in league play. And their biggest win came against georgia tech in ch’ville, and we all know the jackets can’t win on the road. Plus, the hoos have to play five of their final eight on the road.
- unc (-) (2-6 | 13-10): The chants of “NIT” rained down on the heels as they lost by 21 points at maryland. Having already lost to VT earlier in the week, the heels have now lost six of seven ACC games. NIT might be a stretch, you have to finish over .500.
- bc (-) (3-6 | 12-11): The eagles played yet another top team tough, missing a three to tie duke at the end. But they lost… again.
- nc state (-) (2-7 | 14-10): The pack got swept this week, losing at uva and georgia tech. They have lost four of five. But why are they confident this week? The Hokies, who have never won at state since joining the league, are coming to town on Wednesday.
- miami (-) (2-7 | 16-7): miami got back to doing what they do best – losing. After beating the Hokies last Sunday, they lost at wake and fsu. The good news is five of their final eight are at home.
Tech sits at #61 in the latest RPI. Not exactly secure in terms of getting a NCAA Tournament bid. The biggest problem is Tech’s schedule, ranked just 180th in D1 (though it moved up a lot this week).
I said 8-8 gets the Hokies in before ACC play started, now I might have to adjust that to 9-7 to be safe. But that just requires 4-4 the rest of the way, certainly doable.
Here are where the Hokie opponents rank in the RPI.
- clemson – 40
- seton hall – 60
- unc – 79
- miami – 83
- georgia – 90
- uva – 92
- bc – 106
- iowa – 196
- campbell – 200
- delaware – 216
- penn state – 224 (psu is 0-11 in Big(11)Ten play)
- unc-g-spot – 248
- longwood – 256
- brown – 269
- charleston southern – 274
- vmi – 324
- umbc – 341
- nccu – 346
- temple – 18
- fsu – 43
- unc – 79
- miami – 83
As you can see, the Hokies have just one Top 50 win (i.e. the pool of at large teams) to date in three tries. They are 6-4 against the Top 100 which is solid. Tech has four more games against teams currently in the top 50:
- duke – 3
- wake – 15
- georgia tech – 25
- maryland – 46
The Hokies must win at least one of those to pad their resume, two should definitely get VT in the dance without a doubt. Unfortunately, none of those games are this week. So all the Hokies can do is go out and keep winning and the rest should take care of itself. The VT strength of schedule will continue to go up the rest of the way.