Surely This Can’t Go On Forever

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Uh-oh, here we go again. It’s time for Virginia Tech to face the NC State
Wolfpack in basketball. Hide the women and children, and avert your eyes,
because history says it’s going to get ugly. “My, what big teeth you have,
NC State!” “The better to eat you with, Virginia Tech!” Surely
this — NC State beating Virginia Tech — can’t go on forever.

Somewhere around 9 pm at night on January 19, 2005, NC State star player and quote
master Julius Hodge
rose up to take the game-winning shot in Cassell
Coliseum. The Hokies were leading 72-71 and had played valiantly in search of
their second ACC win in school history, but surely a great, clutch player like
Hodge would put Tech’s dreams of victory to rest.

Virginia
Tech’s Jamon Gordon had other ideas. The Hokies’ defensive specialist went right
up with Hodge, face to face, man to man, 6-2 against 6-7, and blocked the shot.
Bedlam ensued in Cassell Coliseum. It was the first time the Hokies had played
the Wolfpack in ACC play, and it was a glorious moment. It brought back memories
of the previous time the Hokies had played the Pack, smashing a good NC State
team that was fresh off its national championship, 89-65 on December 3rd, 1983.

Do you like that memory, the one of Jamon Gordon blocking Julius Hodge’s
shot? Good, because it was over four years ago, and it was the last time VT had
any fun against NC State. The Wolfpack have defeated the Hokies six straight
times since then, often by large margins, and the losses have been frustrating
and logic-defying. The Wolfpack have the Hokies number.

The streak has mounted regardless of whether or not the Pack is any good or
the Hokies are any good. NC State wins whether the venue is home, away or
neutral. The law of averages has been defied repeatedly, and I think the laws of
physics have even been violated a few times. I’ve cursed, I’ve blown a few blood
vessels, and I’ve turned the TV off in frustration, though I haven’t

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