Hokies Facing Must-Wins

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The loss to Duke didn’t hurt. The loss to BC wasn’t a disaster. But the loss
to Maryland put the Hokies behind the eight ball. Although respected
bracketologists Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm currently have the Hokies in the NCAA
tournament as a 12 seed and 11 seed respectively, a home loss to NC State would
derail that. A loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday wouldn’t exactly help, either.

In a regular season that’s 30 games long, it’s hard to say if any one game
matters more than any other game. We always advocate looking at seasons in
three- or four-game blocks. Look for trends and don’t get hung up on the results
of any given contest.

Well, the Hokies have lost three in a row, and unfortunately, that does
make the next game important, particularly when you consider it’s against the
#108 team in the RPI.

Here’s my thing with the NCAA selection committee: Don’t give them an
excuse
. Do not give them an excuse to leave you out of the
tournament. They’ve already got one excuse to exclude the Hokies: strength of
schedule, which according to CBSSports.com
is 133 overall, but a hideous 338 (out of 347) in out of conference games (gee,
thanks, Penn State [192] and Iowa [201]).

I’ve heard over the years that when the committee considers teams, it’s not
so much the individual RPI of a team that matters, as it is how well that team
has done against various RPI groups. The Hokies are #52 in today’s RPI, and
here’s their breakdown, per CBSSports.com, as of 1 p.m., March 3, 2010:


RPI Grouping

VT’s Record
vs. RPI 1-25 0-3
...