Great Win, but Now It’s Time to Close

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Saturday was the biggest day in the history of Virginia Tech basketball. The
whole country got to see College GameDay live from Cassell Coliseum, and
later that evening they saw the Hokies knock off #1 Duke. It was a great day for
the program. Now the Hokies have to close.

Think back to that 2003 football game against #2 Miami. Tech blew out the
Canes on national television and looked good doing it. They were ranked in the
top 10 in both polls, and were a strong candidate to play in a BCS bowl. The
Hokies got a lot of credibility for winning that game. So what did they do? They
promptly tanked it down the stretch, lost to Cal in the Insight Bowl, and
finished a disappointing 8-5.

That huge win over #2 Miami, in a big time night atmosphere in Lane Stadium,
is sullied because of how Tech closed the season. The Hokies didn’t use that win
to propel them to bigger and better things. The only thing that win meant is
that Tech finished 8-5, rather than 7-6.

Don’t get me wrong. That game is a great memory, as long as you can forget
what came after it. I loved Saturday night’s win over Duke, and I want to it to
be a great memory forever. I don’t want to look back on that game and say
“Wow, that was a great moment … too bad we blew it and lost our last two
regular season games and went to the NIT again.”

I want to be able to look back and say that victory spring-boarded the Hokies
into playing their best basketball of the year. I want them to finish their
season strong, and I don’t want anyone questioning whether or not they deserve
to be in the NCAA Tournament. Despite what some folks on TV are saying, Virginia
Tech is not “in”. If they finish strong, they will be. If they don’t,
they probably won’t be. It’s as simple as that. Here are the numbers.

Virginia Tech’s
Category Number
Overall 19-8
Conf. 9-5