Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Earns No. 5 Seed in NCAA Tournament

Georgia Amoore
Riding high, Virginia Tech and Georgia Amoore are headed to the NCAA Tournament. (Jaylynn Nash/ACC Pool Photography)

Coming into the season, Virginia Tech (23-9, 13-5 ACC) set an internal goal to clinch a spot in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament after it was beat down by then-No. 2-seeded Baylor last season in the Round of 32. 

The Hokies have set themselves up to make a run at that goal, many thanks in part to their run in the regular season and the ACC Tournament. They claimed a No. 5 seed in 2022’s Big Dance — the second-best seed in program history — and will play No. 12-seeded Florida Gulf Coast (27-2) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU in College Park, Md.

Tech has been considered a lock for the tournament all season long and has now made the dance for the second-straight season — the first time that’s happened since 2006, when the Hokies made four-straight appearances from 2003-06 under Bonnie Hendrickson and Beth Dunkenberger.

This season, Virginia Tech entered the year ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and finished out the ACC Tournament ranked at No. 17. FGCU, meanwhile, ended the season at No. 23. Tech (No. 10) was also ahead of the Eagles (No. 39) in the NET heading into Sunday’s selection show.

“[They’re] a tremendous basketball team,” Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said after the team’s watch party on Sunday night. “I’m not sure they’re a 12-seed since we’re ranked 17th and they’re ranked 23rd [in the AP Poll], so I don’t know how they put that 5-to-12 matchup together, but needless to say, when you get to this point, you play against very good college basketball teams.”

Virginia Tech played its best regular season since it joined the ACC back in 2004, finishing with 13 conference wins — the most ACC wins in program history. 

The Hokies then went to the conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. last week and won the first game without arguably their best on-ball defender in Cayla King, who left with an ankle sprain. Then they lost their best player, ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, to a shoulder injury before beating No. 4-seeded North Carolina.

Brooks expects them both to be healthy and available to play on Friday in College Park.

FGCU is a team that matches up well with Virginia Tech. The Eagles play a similar style of basketball of launching up 3-pointers. They led the nation with 367-made 3’s (32.8%) during the season, and for reference, VT was tied for 13th with 275 (36.3%).

And they don’t shoot just to shoot, they score buckets and they can get on you quick, Brooks said.

“They play a style that’s a little bit worrisome,” Brooks said. “We shoot a lot of 3’s and my staff informed me that [FGCU] has taken 300 more 3’s on the year than we have. So, it’s going to be one of those games where we have to understand that we’re going to have to defend the 3 and they probably understand that a really good post player.”

Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic-Sun Tournament as the top-seed, beating No. 5-seeded North Florida, No. 3-seeded Stetson and No. 2-seeded Jacksonville State as all three wins came by 11 points or more.

If the Hokies were to win on Friday, they would likely face No. 4-seeded Maryland, who plays against No. 13-seeded Delaware. 

A win over the Terps on Sunday would mean the Hokies would travel out to Spokane, Wash. to play either No. 1-seeded Stanford, No. 16-seeded Montana State, No. 8-seeded Kansas or No. 9-seeded Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Bracket: Link

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  1. We need to play intense defense. Make their shooters uncomfortable. If we do that, the rest will take care of itself.

  2. If you look at the FGCU roster, everyone is listed as a guard.
    – The two tallest players are 6’1″ and those two players look more like small forwards but could just be in comparison to all of the small players. One only plays 6 minutes a game.
    – FGCU has some other players who are 5’9″ and another 6’0.
    – They have 7 players who average 18+ minutes a game.
    – One of the 6’1″ players averages 23 points a game and nearly half of her shots are from the 3 pt line, so it isn’t like she is a dominating inside presence. She averages 7.5 rebounds a game.
    – There are 3 players with 62, 43, 35 offfensive rebounds respectively, but average 5.1, 4.2, 2.6 total rebounds per game
    – Basically 3 players average more than 8 points a game.
    – They committed 345 turnovers in 30 games. Their opponents committed 598

    In contrast, Kitley is 6’6″ and King is 6′. Shephard and Traylor are 5’9″.
    – 8 players average over 10 mins a game
    – 4 players average over 10 pts a game
    – Kitley averages 9.9 rebounds a game and has 79 offensive rebounds. I expect that to be high in this game. VT also has players with 53, 35, 23, 20 offensive rebounds…
    – This could be a game in which Kitley, Baines, King… are strong around the basket but also have to potentially guard along the perimeter.
    – VT committed 412 turnovers in 32 games. Opponents committed 426.

    3-pt percentages.
    Made 357 out of 1089 – 32.9%
    11.9 per game

    Made 257 out of 757- 36.4%
    Made 8.8 per game

    The total points each team scored and opponents are not dramatically different, though FGCU scored 120 more in 2 fewer games. VT scoring margin is 12.9 per game. FGCU is 23

    FGCU schedule includes names like Ave Maria, Palm Beach Atlantic, Stetson, North Florida, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Bellarmie, Eastern KY, Liberty, Saint Louis, Tennesee Tech….AND LSU and Michigan State. They beat Michigan State, 85-84 in OT. Michigan State was 15-15, 8th in Big East.

    Here is the big reason for concern. They beat 88-74 early in the season. LSU was 25-5, 1st in SEC. FGCU shot 55% from 3 in that game. They built an 18-pt lead in the third quarter. They came out shooting in the second half (though did built a lead going into half-time. Here is an article on that game:,Tigers%2C%2088%2D74%20%E2%80%93%20LSU

    Kitley has to dominate inside. Get offensive reboubds, score at will, get opposing players in foul trouble. She also will have to guard on the perimeter while helping stop drives to the basket. There are going to be times her player is at the 3-pt line and she leaves that player to stop a drive. That is going to where FGCU has the potential to hurt. If Amoore, Shephard, etc can keep people in front of them or deal with screens, then minimize the open 3 looks. It is going to be a contrast in style…with VT hopefully having a more balanced attack that makes FGCU pay for playing small ball?

    1. Michigan State was 8TH in the Big East?

      They beat Liberty twice and we didn’t even beat them once.

      This is a tough draw.

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