Tough Hokies Add Wake to Their List

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got to give Seth Greenberg one thing: he sure knows how to get his Hokies to
play well against #1 teams. In the last three seasons, his Hokie teams have
accumulated more wins over #1 teams (2) than in the first 98 seasons of Hokie
basketball (1). With last night’s win over #1 Wake Forest, the 2008-09 Hokies
notched the marquee win they needed to get a middling season back on track.

On December 4th, 2005, I was in my basement, riveted to the television, with
Chris Coleman on the phone. The Hokies, having just scored 12 straight points,
were beating #1 Duke on the road, 75-74. Coleman Collins had tipped in the
winning basket, and Chris and I were hanging on the line, waiting through an
interminable timeout, while the referees reviewed replays and determined how
much time should be on the clock for Duke’s ensuing inbounds pass.

Virginia Tech had beaten a #1 team before, downing Memphis State (now just
Memphis) 69-56 on January 10, 1983, Tech’s lone victory over a top-ranked team
to that point. But the Hokies had never beaten a #1 team on the road, and they
were less than two seconds away from pulling it off. I had seen or followed
hundreds of Hokie basketball games over the years, but I was about to witness
something the program had never done.

You know the rest. Sean
Dockery decided otherwise
. The chance for a program "first"
slipped by.

We didn’t have to wait too long for the Hokies to right that wrong, that is,
if Dockery’s halfcourt prayer can ever truly be "righted" — 1,144
days to be exact. Just a blip, really, when you consider that Virginia Tech has
been playing basketball since January 22, 1909, exactly 100 years ago today, a
span of 36,525 days.

If VT was looking to beat a #1 team on the road, you could say that it
took them less than 100 years to do it — but just barely.

Wednesday night, January 21, 2009, a Hokie team saddled with a couple