Top Basketball Games of the Decade: #1through #5

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ACC basketball is always gut wrenching. Today, we bring you five more games
that went down to the wire. These are also our top five basketball games of the
last decade for Virginia Tech.

It’s not a coincidence that four of the five games on the list were against
teams wearing blue. Games against North Carolina and Duke are always circled on
the calendar. If you can beat one of those teams, or both, then you’ve
accomplished something.

#5: December 5, 2005 – #1 Duke 77, Virginia Tech 75

This is a game you probably don’t want to remember, but when I look back over
the past decade, this is one of the games that I remember the most. It was the
end of one of the worst weekends that a Virginia Tech sports fan could possibly

On the previous day, the Hokies had been upset in the ACC Championship Game
by a Florida State team that had struggled down the stretch of the season. It
was a long ride back from Jacksonville for this Tech fan, and after taking a
quick nap after I got back, I turned on the TV to watch the Tech-Duke game.

The Hokies gave the #1 Blue Devils, led by All-American guard J.J. Redick,
all they could handle. Zabian Dowdell’s floater in the lane with 10 seconds left
in the first half gave Virginia Tech a 36-35 lead at halftime, and the game
remained close for the early stages of the second half as well.

With 7:23 remaining in the game, Duke finally began to pull away. They went
on an 11-2 run that was capped by two Sean Dockery (remember that name) free
throws to make the score 74-63 with 4:19 left. Oh well, I thought. The Hokies
gave a great effort, but they ran into a great team.

Thank goodness the Tech team didn’t have my defeatist attitude. The Hokies
came firing back, going on a 12-0 run to re-take the lead. The final shot by the
Hokies was dramatic. Trailing 74-73, Zabian Dowdell pulled up for a jumper with
four seconds left. It missed, but Coleman Collins was there to tip it in, and
the score was 75-74 Tech with 1.6 seconds left.

It was an improbable comeback. The first thing I did was think back to my
game preview, where I wrote this: “They (VT) will probably have to score 75
points or more to have