Close Games Highlight Hokies’ Improving Competitiveness in the ACC

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Since the 2005-06 basketball season began, you’ve probably read about a few more nail-biters than you’d like to remember. Most have been Virginia Tech losses, but there have been a few wins sprinkled in now and then. In fact, close games have been a major trend in the ACC this year. There are some teams in the ACC that are good. There are some teams in the ACC that are very close to being good. The only difference between the “good teams” and the “very close to being good” teams is that the good teams win the majority of their close games. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case with the Hokies, but even though they’re losing more ACC games this season, the statistics show that they’re continuing to become more competitive.

their inaugural season in the ACC, Virginia Tech was known for their ability to
hang on in the waning moments of tight games. The Hokies had one point victories
over NC State and Georgia Tech and knocked off Clemson and Duke by two. Each one
of those four opponents had the ball for the final shot, and each one missed.
Georgia Tech and Duke had multiple good looks at the basket in the closing
seconds and failed to convert.

This year things are going differently. A.D. Vassallo tipped in a shot in
Bowling Green’s basket, giving the Falcons a one-point victory. (The ACC later
admitted that the officials got the call wrong and the Hokies should have won
the game.) Duke hit a 40-footer to beat the Hokies at the buzzer. Old Dominion
threw up a prayer at the end of the first half from about 30 feet that went in,
and the Monarchs went on to beat the Hokies by three. Zabian Dowdell missed a
wide open three-pointer at the buzzer that would have knocked off Boston
College. And then the Hokies lost in overtime at Virginia in a game that could