These Guys Are Taking Years Off My Life

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Another game, another stressful, down-to-the-wire finish. Virginia Tech has
played three straight games decided by one point, and I don’t think I can take
anymore. Remember when Fred Sanford used to clutch his chest, look to the
heavens, and yell, "I’m coming Elizabeth!!" That’s me. These guys are
killing me.

26
games into their ACC basketball experience, the Hokies are 11-15 in the league,
and their 11 victories are by an average of 4.8 points a game. Four times the
Hokies have won by a single point, and two more times they have won by just two
points. (The losses tend to be harsher, and by wider margins. Of the 15 losses,
Tech has lost two games by two points, and one game by one point.)

Those win statistics include last night’s barn-burner over the Clemson
Tigers, a 75-74 OT win that shaves days off the end of your life span, if you’re
a Hokie basketball fan. The Hokies trailed for most of regulation, leading for
just 2:53 of the first half and a mere 59 seconds early in the second half. Tech
fell behind in the second half when Clemson’s Akin Akingbala broke a tie by
hitting a bucket with 13:12 remaining, and the Hokies couldn’t pull even again
until Zabian Dowdell hit a clutch three-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to send
the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Hokies took the early lead and tried their darnedest to give
it away at the free throw line, where they spoiled a nice 9-of-12 effort in
regulation by going 1-of-7 in OT. The game ended with Clemson missing a jumper
and a tip-in in the last five seconds … and I could breathe again.

No offense to Bill Roth and Mike Burnop, but there’s nothing worse than
listening to a squeaker on the radio. In addition to not being able to see the
game, this was just an aggravating contest all the way around. Clemson, normally
a terrible shooting team, topped their season percentages by a wide margin for
field goals (48.1% for this game, versus 44.0% coming in), three-point shooting
(40.9% vs. 29.3%), and free throw shooting (86.7% — are

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