Special Season Assured, Hokies Look for More

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Twenty
wins. An NCAA Tournament bid. An All-ACC First Team candidate and Coach of the
Year candidate. A top four finish in the ACC. These are all great
accomplishments, and if the season ended today, Hokie fans should be proud. But
as the team embarks for a critical road game in Charlottesville Thursday night,
it’s becoming clearer that success breeds many things. Among them: an appetite
for more success.

I’m not greedy. I like what the Hokies have done this season, and I don’t
feel they need to win one or two ACC tournament games (or even the whole thing)
or go to the Sweet 16 to validate what they’ve accomplished. Come tournament
time, success, or the lack of it, can hinge on random factors like the luck of
the draw or a team getting hot or cold. I’m more impressed with road wins at
Duke and Georgia Tech, a sweep of UNC, and blowout wins against Virginia and
Boston College, things this team has already accomplished. They have battled
well and hard over a conference schedule.

But you’ve got to admit that this team has some enticing possibilities
dangling in front of it. They’ve won enough games to put themselves in position
to accomplish some truly special goals.

Individually, Zabian Dowdell can improve his case for ACC Player of the Year
with strong performances in the next two games, especially if the Hokies win
them. Coach Seth Greenberg can give himself the inside track on his second ACC
Coach of the Year trophy with a first-place finish in the ACC, and actually, if
that happens, he should be a lock. Depending upon what happens Thursday and
Sunday, I’ll have a lot to say about those two situations, so we’ll put those
discussions off for now.

For the team, two more wins gives them an ACC regular season title. The
official conference champion is crowned after the ACC tournament, but the league
does recognize its regular season champion (thanks to Doug Doughty of the Roanoke
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