Thursday, March 18, 2010

Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament: Tough Love

Many Hokie fans have been upset recently over the 'snuffing' of Virginia Tech in the big dance, aka March Madness aka the NCAA Tournament. I am a die hard Virginia Tech fan, but let me tell you why we DIDN'T deserve to make it!

1) Strength Of Schedule: Out of conference, Virginia Tech had a strength of schedule in the 300's. That is flat out embarrassing. As for our total strength of schedule, it was 132. The only teams with a strength of schedule over 200 in the NCAA Tournament are conference winners.

2) Inability To Finish Down The Stretch: Over the last 12 games, Virginia Tech went 7-5 in conference play. This is pretty rough anyway, add in the two losses to last place ACC team Miami and a 20 point loss to Boston College and you can understand why the selection committee was a little hesitant on vaulting the Hokies past the bubble.

3) The Lack Of Big Wins: Let me now read the short list of Tech's 'quality wins:' Seton Hall (NIT team), Wake Forest (NCAA Tournament team #9 seed), Georgia Tech (NCAA Tournament team #10 seed) and Clemson (NCAA Tournament team #7 seed). That's it.

Some people want to question the selection committee's decision to take Wake Forest over Virginia Tech, and let me now present Wake Forest's 'quality wins:' Gonzaga (NCAA Tournament team #8 seed), Richmond (NCAA Tournament team #7 seed), Xavier (NCAA Tournament team #6 seed), Maryland (NCAA Tournament team #4 seed), Georgia Tech (NCAA Tournament team #10 seed), and Clemson (NCAA Tournament team # 7 seed).

If any of you even think that there is a comparison, you are simply in a heavy case of denial. Also, note that half of those wins for Wake Forest are out of conference. It's easier to beat teams that you see on a yearly basis, Wake was able to beat good teams that they rarely see.

That's it. Those are the facts; they aren't pretty but that's what they are. Perhaps if Virginia Tech would quit scheduling teams like Brown, North Carolina Central and UMBC (whoever they are), we would get a chance to play the big teams which we are scared to play.

It's not that I don't enjoy watching Quinnipiac basketball, it's just that I would rather watch Tech actually challenge themselves like the football team does.

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