Hokies Bolt Out to 8-1 Start

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out there got any crow? I promised to eat some if the Hokies exceeded my meager
expectations, and it’s time to put on a bib and chow down. This is not an
offensive juggernaut, and they’re not playing the toughest
schedule around, but they’re doing what no Tech team has done since the
mid-1990s: winning a lot of games early.

If you follow Tech basketball, then you’ve heard the stat: Virginia Tech’s
8-1 start in men’s hoops is their best since 1995-96, when an Ace Custis-led
team started out 12-1 on their way to a 23-6 record and the second round of the
NCAA tournament.

This is easily the best start of the Seth Greenberg era. In an interesting
statistical twist documented in last
Friday’s TSLMail
, every Greenberg VT team has started out 5-3. That TSLMail
was written when the Hokies were 7-1, and now that they’re 8-1, they’re putting
more distance between themselves and past Greenberg Hokie editions.

ACC play opens on January 10th at UNC, but before then, the Hokies have three
more home games and a game in Cancun, Mexico. The home games are against teams
the Hokies should beat: Charleston Southern, Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC),
and Longwood. Pull that feat off, and the Hokies will be 11-1 when they tip off
against Seton Hall in Cancun on January 2nd.

Seton Hall will be a much stiffer test. Currently 9-0 and #53 in the RPI,
Seton Hall will be Tech’s toughest opponent since Temple, who drubbed the Hokies
61-50 earlier this season.

Add it all up, and 11-2 before ACC play starts is very doable, and 12-1 isn’t
out of the realm of possibility. Throw in a January 18th game against NC Central
in Cassell, and the Hokies can go 12-2 or 13-1 in their 14 out of conference
games. A modest 5-11 or 6-10 record in ACC play would put Tech anywhere from
17-13 to 19-11 going into the ACC Tournament.

See where I’m headed with this? Tech’s strong 8-1 start has put the NIT
squarely in the Hokies’ wheelhouse. If Tech can beat the media’s