A Different Feeling

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Tonight Virginia Tech will play in the ACC Tournament, and for the first time in a long time, it doesn’t really mean anything.  The Hokies haven’t been on the bubble since December, and Sunday night against NC State it looked like they were playing just to get the season over with.

Seth Greenberg

For the past five seasons, Virginia Tech has been in the NCAA Tournament picture heading into the ACC Tournament.  Each year, it mattered what the Hokies did in their conference tournament (except for last year apparently, when they won two games and still didn’t make the Big Dance).  If Seth Greenberg still had any hair when he got to Virginia Tech, it certainly would have all fallen out by now.

This year, they are on the bubble for the NIT.  There is a new rule in college basketball that allows teams with losing records to play in the NIT.  I think that’s a pretty dumb rule, but it’s the NIT, so nobody is really paying attention anyway.  At any rate, I suppose a win over Clemson tonight could go a long way in helping the Hokies become the first team with a losing record to ever make the NIT.  That would be a dubious honor.

That’s a big difference from the last five years, when we all went into the ACC Tournament with a nervous feeling in the pit of our stomachs.

2007: Tech was the #3 seed in the ACC Tournament that year, and though they were a lock for the Big Dance, seeding was important.  The Hokies swept Duke and UNC during the regular season, so you liked their chances of making a run in Tampa.  VT beat Wake easily in their first game, advancing to the semifinals.  Unfortunately NC State upset Georgia Tech, and the Hokies had to face their kryptonite.  The Wolfpack knocked Tech out in the semis.

2008: Tech wasn’t expected to be much that year, losing so many seniors from their NCAA Tournament team.  However, the Hokies earned the #4 seed in the ACC Tournament, and they were a bubble team.  They knocked off #5 seed Miami in their first game, and then were beaten on a last second shot by Tyler Hansbrough in the semifinals.  That Miami win was their