It’s hard to believe it has been three years since that magical night… well, magical day in Blacksburg. It all started with ESPN College GameDay being on our campus, featuring our program, our players, our coach. And it culminated with a thrilling victory over the #1 team in the nation, the hated duke blue devils in front of a primetime national ESPN audience.
But no one wanted it to end there, either. Seemingly the entire sold-out arena rushed the court afterwards to celebrate with the team, making the post-game celebration seem like a parade that everyone got to share together. Tech had seemingly punched their ticket to the Big Dance.
For me, I was staffed in Milton Keynes, UK (England). The game started at 2 AM my time and I had to watch on my 21″ iMac screen via the internet and my dongle. By the time the game ended around 4:30 AM, I couldn’t sleep. I ended up staying up and watching the replay on ESPN America at 7 AM and making highlights (linked below).
The freefall since that night has swift and hard to swallow. The Hokies would drop their final two ACC regular season games, Senior Night they were blown out by bc and then lost at clemson. Two wins in the ACC Tourney, including a replay-aided win over fsu, wasn’t enough and Tech went to the NIT… again.
In the three seasons since Tech has finished tied for last in the ACC (4-12), all alone in last place (4-14), and currently sit along in the cellar this season (2-13) and will enter the ACC Tourney as the last seed unless they win at least two of their final three games. Overall Tech is 10-41 in ACC regular season games since the win over duke (19.6%), easily the fewest wins by an ACC team over that span of teams that have been in the league the last four years (next lowest is bc and ga tech with 16 each). Heck, syracuse already has 3 more wins than that and they’ve only been in the league this year.
But forget the negatives for a day, and let’s reflect back on the day the Cassell was magical.