Plenty to Like About this Team

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Virginia Tech won at Virginia on Thursday night, which wasn’t a big surprise.
How they won it wasn’t a surprise either. How much they overcame to win the game
is somewhat of a surprise. Then again, with this group, we probably shouldn’t be
surprised at anything they do from here on out.

It’s become typical to see this team gut out tough wins in difficult
situations. We saw them beat Seton Hall without Malcolm Delaney. We saw them
knock off BC on a last second shot. Last night we saw them come from 10 points
down with under three minutes remaining, on the road at UVA. They did it without
Jeff Allen, who was unfairly ejected following a bogus ruling by the refs.

The fact that it came against the Hoos made it a little bit more fun. Okay, I
lied. It made it a lot more fun. For so many years, the Hokies were UVA’s
whipping boys in basketball. Since ACC expansion, Tech is 6-5 in the regular
season against the Hoos, including two wins in the shiny new John Paul Jones
Arena. The Hokies have won four of the last five meetings. Considering where
both programs were earlier this decade, it’s almost hard to believe.

The Hokies are now 16-3 overall, and they have the second most overall wins
of all ACC teams, behind only Duke. A 3-2 conference record puts them at third
place in the league. All of that is big news, but it’s still not time to start
talking about conference standings, the RPI or NCAA tournament chances. There
are other things to discuss that are specific to the game last night, as well as
the team itself.

Hokies Show Coolness in a Tough Situation

Jeff Allen was ejected with a little under 14 minutes remaining. Allen was
securing a loose ball near the Tech bench. He put his arms and his elbows out to
clear space, which is the proper technique. When UVA’s Jeff Jones ran into
Allen’s elbow, it was hardly a surprise that a foul was called. What was
surprising is that it was called a flagrant foul even after the refs went to the
replay monitor.

I assume the officials saw the same replays I saw, but they obviously came to
a different conclusion than I did. I’ll call it like I (and pretty much everyone
else) see it: there was no way that was a flagrant foul on Jeff Allen. It was
completely unintentional…Allen was even looking the other way when