The dates have been set. Now it is time for the Hokies to take care of business and roll through their schedule and earn the bid to the ncaa tournament they have struggled to get the last four years. And let it be said again – it is the early games that will go a long way towards earning that bid since the ACC likely will be in a ‘down’ year, at least for the ACC, for the third year in a row.
Key Out of Conference Games (RPI from last season in parenthesis):
- Tu., November 15th – the Regional Final of the NIT Season Tip-Off vs fiu (283) or george mason (24). Win and the Hokies are finally headed to MSG the next week to play in the NIT semis, and will likely get one or two games against very quality opponents, thus giving the Hokies more shots at quality wins. I’m sorry, but Tech has to beat Isiah Thomas or Paul Hewitt at home, two of the worst coaches ever.
- Wed., Nov. 30th – at minnesota (85) in the ACC/Big(12)Ten Challenge. Tough road game but the gophers are down and beatable. Still would look like a quality win.
- Sun., Dec. 4th – kansas state (23) - The Hokie bball team is probably rooting for the Hokie football team to NOT make the ACC Championship Game. That’s the day before this. Last year, Tech played uva at home the day after beating fsu to win the ACC football title and Cassell was like a funeral. Worst crowd for a uva game I’ve seen since the ricky “program bomb” stokes era. Let’s hope the Hokies can win the ACC in football, and still have some life in the stands (and on the court).
- Wed., Dec. 7th – at rhode island (101) – Could be a solid win on the road for the Hokies… if they can pull it off and slam the rams.
- Sat., Dec. 31st – at oklahoma state (61) - In a very ugly game last year, Tech took down the pokes in a neutral site tournament game in CA. Winning in Stillwater will be an up-stream swim for the Hokies, but this gives Tech another great opportunity.
- Wed., Jan. 25th – byu (5) – Jimmer is gone to the NBA (if there is one), but the byu name will still be bright this year after the 29-4 season they had last season. And the cougars were winning before they had Jimmer so don’t expect this to be an easy game. One thing against the Hokies is this is in the middle of the ACC slate. byu will be juiced to beat an ACC team, but will the Hokies be primed to beat the mormons?
ACC Schedule (Final ACC Seeding / RPI from last season in parenthesis):
- Sat., Jan. 7th – at wake (12/258) – Just put VT at 1-0 in the league now.
- Tu., Jan. 10th – fsu (3/55) – no more Singleton.
- Sat., Jan 14th – at bc (5/58) – VT’s house of horrors. Tech played worse against bc last year than any other team (including uva).
- Thur., Jan. 19th – unc (1/6) – Most mock NBA draft sites have the entire unc starting lineup going in the first round next year. They are good, real good.
- Sun., Jan 22nd – at uva (8/141) – need to get the hoos back for the sweep they earned last year, but Hokie-killer Mike Scott will be back for a 10th season (it seems).
- Sat., Jan. 28th – at maryland (7/98) – New terp coach. Feat the 8′ Hokie Bird in the parking lot tailgating before the game (Weekend Warrior).
- Thur., Feb. 2nd – duke (2/4) – this isn’t the same duke team by any stretch. They are in a rebuilding year, much like they were in 2006-07 when they went 8-8 in conference.
- Sat., Feb. 4th – clemson (4/57) – The tigers have owned us of late, winning 5 of 7.
- Thur., Feb. 9th – at miami (9/73) – The canes blow vs VT – VT is 9-4 in ACC games vs miami.
- Sun., Feb. 12th – bc (5/58) – Revenge time for Senior Night last year.
- Thur., Feb. 16th – at fsu (3/55) – Tech has never won at fsu since joining the ACC. This is the only place VT has not won on the road.
- Sat., Feb. 18th – georgia tech (11/168) – The schedulers aren’t doing VT any favors – this is their second short turnaround game (less than 48 hours between ACC games) and they’ll just have gotten back from Tallahassee early the morning before.
- Tu., Feb. 21st – uva (8/141)
- Sat., Feb. 25th – at duke (2/4) – Similar setup to last year (except at duke). Can the Hokies pull off a late win over duke two years in a row?
- Thur., March 1st – at clemson (4/57) – Why do we always play them so late in the year? And lose?
- Sun., March 4th – nc state (10/125) – We miss you Sidney Lowe. Otherwise, VT would have bookend guaranteed wins in the ACC schedule.
The Hokies have a much tougher ACC road to hoe than in the past couple years. VT faces four of the top five teams from a year ago twice (duke, fsu, clemson, and bc… plus #8 seed uva). That is much different than a year ago when they were facing mostly the bottom-feeders twice. Two games against duke will be a challenge, although with Singler, Smith, and Irving gone, duke is beatable this year. bc loses Reggie Jackson. clemson and fsu should be tough again since they actually emphasize defense, but the noles lose Chris Singleton.
unc is going to be VERY tough to beat. At least that game is at home.