Hokies’ Bubble Bursts for Third Year in a Row

At least now we know the NCAA Selection Committee is certifiably insane. The third time was not the charm for Virginia Tech, as they did not receive an invitation to the Big Dance for the third consecutive year. Once again they will be relegated to the Junior Prom, the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The Hokies became the first ACC team to win 10 conference games and not make the tournament, a dubious distinction.

For the second time in three years the Hokies were one of the first teams out, a bitter pill to swallow. Bubble teams that made it included florida, minnesota, utep, and utah state. Tech had the fifth highest RPI of teams that didn’t make it but CBS’s Seth Davis guessed that the Hokies were the first team out. He later asked the head of the committee, Dan Guerrero, about bubble teams and mentioned VT specifically and the first thing Dan mentioned was out of conference strength of schedule.

The ACC got six teams in with duke (1 seed), maryland (4), clemson (7), wake (9), fsu(9), and georgia tech (10). Notice something? Two of those teams (clemson and wake) lost in the ACC Tournament First Round, not even the quarterfinals. VT beat both of them and finished ahead of them. maryland and fsu also lost in the quarterfinals in their first tourney game.

We shall see how the Hokies respond in the NIT. Two years ago that young Hokie team was on a mission to show the committee was wrong and played well, blowing out two teams before losing to ole miss in the quarterfinals. Last year Tech seemed less interested and almost lost in the first round to duquesne before winning in two overtimes. In the second round they got absolutely blasted by baylor, a team that moved all the way up to a 3-seed this year in the Big Dance. With the bulk of this Hokie team represented by juniors, I’m not sure how hard they will play in the NIT. This has to be a huge disappointment, and they may have a “been there, done that” attitude. We shall see what the crowds will be like, too. Tech has gotten great turnouts from the students the last few years who have had the Cassell rocking, taking advantage of the general admission seating.

It is hard to believe a team that won 10 ACC regular season conference games, and 23 games overall, did not make the tournament. But VT’s extremely weak out of conference schedule apparently did them in. As did the loss to the last place miami hurricanes in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. Tech’s weak in conference schedule (they played the bottom five ACC teams twice and the top six just once) also didn’t help. Still, this is tough to take and I’m sure the team is as sick as I am right now.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1222 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • DuffHokie

    Knew it… called it after we lost to Miami on Friday.

  • MTD32

    Tech being left out with 10 wins in the ACC is a crime, and I’m a MD fan.

    I’d like to see any of those bubble teams play in the ACC and get the same results.

    Terrible decision.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coleman-Bolling-Jr/626746241 James Coleman Bolling Jr

    3-0 vs. Clemson, Wake, and GT. Unbelievable

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    This is not tough to take… this is [bull manure]. Florida was 20-11 compared to our 23-8, and LOST THE LAST THREE GAMES OF THEIR REGULAR SEASON. AND they lost to SOUTH ALABAMA and GEORGIA – the latter of which WE BEAT. Then you have Minnesota… who finished 21-13 and was just STOMPED by Ohio State today. They lost this year to the likes of Portland, Miami, INDIANA!!!, Northwestern, and to MICHIGAN BY TWENTY EIGHT POINTS!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

    This is just garbage… I can’t even elaborate any further on just how much we were robbed today. Part of me wants to say LOOK… IF YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE YOUR FIRST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GAME TO THE LAST PLACE TEAM IN YOUR LEAGUE, THEN YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU GET. But you have to consider that Miami dominated Wake Forest – a “tournament team” – and then ALMOST beat #1 seed DUKE to get to the conference [semi]finals. They turned into a conference tournament buzzsaw and the fact that we lost to them in that spot SHOULD NOT have negated what we did THE ENTIRE YEAR.

    Clemson? In – we beat them. Wake? In – we beat them. Georgia Tech? In – we beat them. That should have been MORE than enough.

    This is probably the most anti-college basketball that I have ever felt… and on that note, I’m out.

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    And one last thing – so two years ago, the committee makes an example out of us by making us the FIRST EVER ACC team with a conference record better than .500 to miss the big dance. NOW THEY ARE MAKING ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF US BY MAKING US THE FIRST 10-WIN ACC TEAM TO NOT MAKE THE BIG DANCE?????

    There is something shady going on here.

  • JT

    Not exactly a surprise here — I think we all knew we were less than a 50/50 shot after losing to Miami. UTEP and Utah State losses were the real killers for us.

    Not that it should make us feel any better, but in a normal year, a team like this year’s hokies is probably not even inside the “first 4 out” group. The bubble was extremely weak, and Florida, Illinois, and Va Tech were all teams that had major, major flaws on the resume.

    Still a great year, given the talent we have on this team – Greenberg continues to get these guys to overachieve. Very proud of this team and pleased with the progress over the year. Dare I say it, we’re probably going to be right on the bubble next year too… possibly the most painful experience as a sports fan!!

  • BiggestHokieFan

    I am absolutely ticked! The last 3 years we have played some really great/competitive basketball. Almost every minor college in Virginia gets into the dance every other year, and we never get in…
    It hurts. I went to 8 games this year – all over the mid-Atlantic. We looked good most of the time. If the schedule is not decided for next year, we better play some quality teams and win a few of those, otherwise it’ll be 4 years we don’t get in.

  • Jacob

    bs we finished 23 and 8 and tied for third in the acc ya we definitly didnt desearve to make the tourny. they say our out of conference schedule was weak, well we only lost one game, which was to a ranked Minnesota wake and florida over us BS We beat wake and they droped 5 of the lat 6 finishing 19 and 10 they Minnesota got luck that their game didnt finish until 15 min before the selection. The decision was already made and they ennded up losing by 30 Hokies get jobed again maybe next year and hopefully malcolm will stay and we got tyrone garland coming in with jyrell eddie

  • Telemachus

    VT and Mississippi State (what a great run) left out while Florida and Minnesota are included? Those are both epic snubs. Just… ridiculous.

    That said, if we’d won any single one of the games that we lost… It’s not just the final Miami loss. Any one of those 8 would have had to have pushed us over the top.

    This non-conference strength of schedule talk is just crap, as I’ve explained in previous posts. But I guess it’s the game , so I’m with BiggestHokieFan hoping that the schedule is not fixed for next year and we can make sure that can’t be used against us again. Ever, ever, ever again.

  • King

    I’m very troubled by the fact that Davila only had 1 rebound in each of the last 3 games. That’s where we’re hurting the most. Allan Chaney can’t suit up fast enough and Raines can’t get into the regular starting rotation soon enough. Davila’s career is going to mimmick that of Witcher. Make room on the bench!!! Greens’ a mirror image of Thorns, too. He’d be better off playing for Radford. We need to get tough this off-season and play with a chip on our shoulder next season. I’d like to see us have a strong showing in the NIT and not dial it in like we did last year. Every game this post-season is a chance to grow as a team and build towards something next season.

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    Gonna be really hard NOT to just dial it in at this point. I guess an all-expenses paid trip to NYC is some sort of motivation, but I can’t even blame the fellas if they bow out in the first round of the NIT.

    Seriously… quite possibly the biggest snub by the selection committee EVER.

    ACC teams 1,2,3,5,6,7 ALL got in… and the #4 Hokies were 3-0 against #s 5-7. 3-3 total in that group when you toss in the 0-3 against 1-3. Against that same group:

    GT (#7) = 4-8
    Clemson (#6) = 4-6
    Wake (#5) = 3-4
    FSU (#3) = 4-5
    Maryland (#2) = 6-4
    Duke (#1) = 8-2

    So, outside of Duke and Maryland, the Hokies are the only team in that entire group to be .500 or better against the NCAA-caliber ACC competition. GT was freaking 4 games BELOW the .500 mark.

    Again… just an EPIC snub.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    My biggest problem is the inclusion of Utah State. The committee thought our schedule was bad? Check out Utah State’s… they beat BYU (at home), and that’s IT. There’s isn’t another valuable win on their whole schedule, and they lost their own conference tournament to a team that wouldn’t have been included as an at-large bid, just like the Hokies. You can’t tell me their strength of schedule was better than ours with a straight face… SOS is complete crap.

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