Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball Hosts Richmond In NIT

Sean Pedulla and Virginia Tech will host Richmond late Tuesday night. (Jon Fleming)

On Sunday night, Virginia Tech was announced as a No. 3 seed in the NIT. It’ll host Richmond in the first round on Tuesday, March 19, in Cassell Coliseum at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The winner will play the victor of No. 2 seed Ohio State and Cornell in the second round.

The Hokies (18-14, 10-10 ACC) will meet the Spiders (23-9, 15-3 A-10) for the 109th time, the first since Jan. 14, 2009 — a 62-48 Tech win in Blacksburg. They clashed 56 times as Southern Conference foes from 1933-65.

After Tech’s loss to Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday, Mike Young said his program would welcome a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. Pitt declined its invitation, meaning Tech received one of the ACC’s two automatic bids and was given the opportunity to host.

It’s the second year in a row the Hokies have participated in the NIT and the 15th time overall. It’s the first time they’ve hosted since 2016, when they defeated Princeton in the first round in overtime under Buzz Williams. They are 25-12 in the event and 15-4 in Cassell Coliseum. They’ve won the tournament twice, too: 1973 and 1995.

Tech is 14-2 at home this season and 60-18 (.769) in the building in five seasons under Young. Its lone losses in Cassell Coliseum in 2023-24 were to Miami, when it didn’t have veteran guard Hunter Cattoor due to injury, and Duke.

Richmond won the Atlantic 10 regular season with a 15-3 record but lost its last two games — its regular-season finale at George Mason and its first game in the A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn on Thursday. In the non-conference portion of its slate, it posted an 8-5 record. Its best win was against UNLV, a fellow NIT team, on a neutral court in Daytona Beach. While it was 15-1 inside the Robins Center, it was 8-8 in all other venues.

Some of the program’s metrics:

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  • NET: 73rd
  • KenPom: 82nd
  • Bart Torvik: 78th

The Spiders are led by Jordan King, the Co-Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The ETSU transfer averaged 18.4 points per game, the second-best mark in the A-10, and is a lethal 3-point shooter at 42 percent on 197 attempts. He anchors a defense that ranks 32nd in the country in adjusted efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy, and is 15th in the country in field goal percentage defense at 40.3 percent.

Chris Mooney is in his 19th season at the helm of the Spiders. He’s 348-267 (.566) with three NCAA Tournament appearances in his tenure, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2011. Mooney and Young have met once in their careers as head coaches: Nov. 20, 2012. The Spiders beat Young’s Wofford team by six, 64-58, in the Robins Center.

The Hokies are one of three ACC teams in the NIT field, joining Wake Forest and Boston College. Five programs from the conference made the NCAA Tournament: North Carolina (No. 1 seed), Duke (No. 4), Clemson (No. 6), Virginia (No. 10) and NC State (No. 11).

For the full NIT bracket, click here. For general information, including tickets, click here.

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18 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. NIT is a fun tourney. I remember when Ace and the boys won it. Good times. I’m actually surprised that Richmond did not make the NCAA tourney. They are in the A10, a very good league, and won the regular season title? How is it they didn’t get in? Either way, if our Hokies show up without really wanting to win this tourney, they will lose this game. The Spiders are very good.

  2. Didn’t Syracuse also turn down an invite? Wouldn’t they be ahead of us also?

    But I whole heartily agree, better to be playing than not! 🙂

  3. Accepting a NIT bid only helps the program overall. More practice and games builds an highly valuable experience for the underclassmen who will be the core of the team next fall.

    1. Only if Mike Young plays the young kids. If plays same lineup as played all year, then he should have turned down the bid as this will do nothing for the future of the program. If young kids don’t play, Mike Young should be let go.

  4. While Pitt may see the NIT as beneath them (hardly), I see it as a VT chance for redemption, so thanks Pitt for the opportunity. So, Hokies, get out there and prove what you are worth. Pitt, like UNC in the recent past just showed they are not really into basketball unless the opportunity suits them.

  5. “Pitt declining is hard to figure.”
    Maybe they wanted to go to classes and study for finals like the UNC players last year. 🙂
    Or – maybe they want to start practicing towards next year – like St John’s this year.
    Or – maybe it’s just a good ol’ case of sour grapes..
    Or – it’s just a statement of the times in college sports.

  6. i dont understand nit seeding but it seems highly unfair towards mid-majors- UR much stronger resume than VT …

    1. Their NET, S.O.S and Ken Pom rating is poor. Less Q1 wins, very poor outside of the weak A10 conference. Tech’s resume is higher in every data point available.

  7. Glad they made the NIT. Always good to keep playing. Pitt is dumb to turn down their invite but I’m glad they did.

  8. Great for the men to get a last game in Cassell. But those Spiders, they’ll get after ya.

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