Look No Further Than Your Own Back Yard

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The answer is Darian Townes and Aliou Kane. The question is how many quality big men with
Virginia ties are playing their college basketball outside of the Commonwealth? More than those inside the state, it
would seem. The question seems relevant in light of the current status of the Virginia Tech basketball team. The Hokies
followed up their monumental upset over Duke and perfunctory handling of Miami with a bad loss at NC State and a very
tough one at Clemson. In the process Tech has gone from a long-shot possibility for the NCAA Tournament to one that will
now be struggling to make the NIT. While a 7-8 ACC record heading into Saturday’s final against Maryland still
represents an astounding leap up the standings from where Tech was forecast, the accomplishments of the first year in
the conference has lost just a bit of its luster.

Aliou Kane in his Minnesota days.

Tech got hammered at State and there is little to be gained from analyzing it. Tech caught a Wolfpack team – that for
a good chunk of the season had been engaged in some spectacular underachieving – at exactly the wrong time, with their
backs squarely against the RBC Center wall. Herb Sendek’s team responded in a big way, giving Sendek the kind of
effort that, quite frankly, he had not seen many times this year. Tech simply does not have the players to deal with
that kind of effort from one of the more talented ACC teams. It got out of hand very early and stayed that way. You
could figure this wasn’t Tech’s day when around the ten-minute mark of the first half the television announcers
began talking about Frank Beamer and our football team. Announcers discussing Jeff King’s future NFL prospects during
a Tech basketball game is not a positive development.

The loss at Clemson was much tougher. It was a game that featured a solid comeback by Tech and literally came down to
less than the final second. It was also a