NCAA Hopes Flickering, Hokies Look to Regroup

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There
it is again, one of those pesky two-game losing streaks, the kind that come
along all the time in the ACC. The problem is, in order to go to the NCAA
tournament, this wasn’t a two-game losing streak the Hokies could afford. After
dropping consecutive games to a subpar Maryland team and a UVa team that is #11
in the conference and one-time loser of eight straight games, the NCAA
tournament is now unlikely for the Hokies.

Six games ago, on the night of January 29th, the Hokies were riding a streak
of nine wins in ten games, and things were looking good. On national TV, with
Bobby Knight and Brent Musberger in the house, the Hokies were shredding the
12th-ranked Clemson Tigers’ vaunted press. Cassell was rocking, and Tech was on
its way to a 5-1 record in the ACC and top-tier status.

We know how that one ended, and the last three weeks have been a time to
forget. VT has lost four of the last six games now, gradually sliding down the
ACC standings in the process, and the last two games have been particularly
painful. The last two have taken the Hokies from an NCAA tournament bubble team
to a team on the outside looking in. Maryland and Virginia are not good losses
to have on your resume at this point in the season, particularly Virginia, who
came into the game with an RPI somewhere around 92, second-worst in the ACC.

When the Hokies embarked on this four-game stretch of NC State, Georgia Tech,
@Maryland, and @Virginia, a 4-0 record was desirable, and a 3-1 record was a
minimum requirement. 2-2 won’t be good enough, and with the Hokies facing a
murderous stretch of five games against top 20 RPI teams (three of them against
top 10 RPI teams) to close the season, it’s time to put aside thoughts of making
the NCAA tournament and talk about other things. Barring a massive turnaround,
Tech’s shot at the NCAA’s is done.

Sometime in the last few games, the formula that was working so well for the
Hokies at one point has collapsed. When

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