Virginia Tech has lost two consecutive games since beating #1 Duke, and they
are squarely on the bubble, which is par for the course at this point in the
season. The good news is that they have an opportunity to play their way into
the Big Dance with a good showing at the ACC Tournament later this week.
Unfortunately, conference tournaments haven’t been kind to the Hokies throughout
In 1979, Virginia Tech beat Cincinnati, #13 Louisville and Florida State on
three consecutive days to win the Metro Conference Tournament in Memphis. In
1984, they advanced to the finals before falling to #17 Memphis.
Since 1984, Virginia Tech has never won more than one game in a conference
tournament. Since then, they’ve been one-and-done on 12 occasions. The other
nine times they won their first tournament game, and were bounced in the second
The Hokies aren’t known for their postseason basketball, and not just because
they don’t make the NCAA Tournament very often. They don’t make a lot of noise
in their conference tournaments either. Except for a couple of opening game wins
over Miami that were followed up by razor-thin losses to North Carolina,
Virginia Tech just hasn’t been a team to watch in conference tournaments.
Even some of Tech’s best teams have failed in conference tournaments. The
1994-95 team needed to beat Southern Miss in the Metro Tournament to make the
Big Dance, but they were knocked out 82-66, and had to settle for the NIT (which
they won). The 1995-96 team was safely in the field, but a run in the A-10
Tournament would have improved seeding. Instead, they lost to Rhode Island
77-71. In five years in the A-10, Tech won three A-10 tournament games, all of
them first-round wins over Fordham.
Last year’s Virginia Tech team went to the ACC Tournament and were told on
arrival by officials in the know that they needed to beat Miami to secure an
NCAA berth. The Hokies lost to the #12 seed Hurricanes 70-65, getting outscored
6-0 over the final two minutes of the game.
I’m not paying a lot of attention to what the bracketologists are saying
right now. Many of them do their brackets based on if the
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