The Promise of ACC Hoops

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This is the promise of ACC basketball, the thrill-a-minute ride Hokie fans were craving
when the league took a vote in the summer of 2003, and Virginia Tech could finally paint the ACC logo on their
basketball floor. Visions of a packed, loud, frenetic arena; players scratching and clawing and competing for 40
minutes; coaches tinkering with lineups and strategies; games coming down to the wire. This was the promise, and on
Wednesday night, Virginia Tech and NC State — and Coleman Collins and Jamon Gordon — delivered.

Okay, so Cassell Coliseum wasn’t “packed.” Attendance was announced at 9,874,
though it was really somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 fans. But it certainly was loud, and it certainly was frenetic.
The atmosphere was the best it has been since January of 2003, when the Hokies whipped Virginia 73-55 in front of 8,000
rabid Hokies.

This basketball program will take its moments where it can get them, and the 72-71
nail-biter over the Wolfpack was indeed a moment worth remembering. The foundation for Wednesday’s game was laid last
Saturday, when the Hokies fought their way back from a deficit against Clemson to capture their first-ever ACC victory
over the Tigers, 59-57. That win brought out a good-sized crowd for this game, and a chance for Seth Greenberg and his
charges to keep building the momentum established Saturday, a chance for them to hook leery Tech basketball fans into
coming back for more.

We’ve seen this many times the last few years. The team wins a game and starts to build
momentum, only to lay an egg and lose the fans for the duration of the season.

This time it was different, and the Hokies scratched this game out the only way they know
how, by coming at their opponent over and over and over, not quitting until the final horn sounded. It was a formula
that worked for Frank Beamer’s Hokie football team, a fact Greenberg alluded to in his post-game comments, and it
brought the never-say-die Hokie basketball team their second win — excuse me, second ACC win