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It’s all a matter of perception and expectations. The
Virginia Tech basketball season that ended its season last Saturday with a Beale
Street blues-inspiring performance against Memphis is regarded as a success.
Tech finished 16-14, a marginal improvement over last year’s 15-14 Big East
swan song. This Tech team has been tabbed monumental overachievers.

It was a picture-perfect
moment, all hugs and smiles for Seth Greenberg after VT beat Maryland in
Cassell. But will success lead to heightened expectations for the Hokies,
and discontent if those expectations aren’t met?

Expectations were low. A bunch considered to have little
ACC-quality talent, a lack of an inside presence and no depth was picked by ACC
media to finish near the bottom of the ACC standings and was widely ridiculed as
being one of the worst teams ever to play in the ACC. Things didn’t exactly
work out that way.

Tech scratched and clawed their way to an 8-8 regular season finish in their
inaugural ACC season, good for fourth in the conference. The Hokies developed
into a good defensive team, were an opportune crew on offense, often
demonstrated a ferocious competitive streak and displayed a remarkable ability
to win close games, especially at home. The high point of the season came when
Tech became one of only four teams to beat Duke this season, so far at least,
knocking off the ACC’s best overall program on a special night in Cassell. The
Tech team slipped late in the season, playing their way out of an NCAA bid as
other teams adjusted to what Tech was doing and began to match Tech’s
intensity. Still, the unexpected ACC competitiveness was a pleasant surprise for
a Tech program that had been moribund for a decade. Seth Greenberg was
rightfully named the ACC’s Coach of the Year. By recent Tech basketball
standards, the year was considered a success.

Wake Forest came into this year with sky-high expectations. With most of the