Yes. The answer is yes.
Virginia Tech might be at the bottom tier of NCAA Tournament-worthy teams, but the Hokies are in a solid position to at least get a shot in March.
Sunday night’s 14-point comeback victory over Virginia was the much-needed spark Buzz Williams and the Hokies craved. They were coming off losses in three of their previous four contests, and many VT fans thought postseason ambitions were slowly creeping out of sight.
It certainly feels like the basketball gods want to grant VT a postseason chance. With 25.7 seconds left in overtime during the UVA game, one of the most improbable things that could happen in a hoops game took place. Take a look for yourself:
Virginia had the chance to take the lead … but the ball GOT STUCK ON THE RIM. pic.twitter.com/H1t0WwoqFD
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) February 13, 2017
You saw it right. The ball just stopped and sat there. Even legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was shocked as he watched from home.
“I’ve never seen anything like that happen,” Krzyzewski said on the ACC weekly conference call.
If Virginia Tech suffered a loss on Sunday, there would be a much different narrative. Now with five regular season games remaining, it’s tough to see Williams’ bunch missing the 64-squad pool, even if the fiery VT front man won’t acknowledge it.
#Hokies coach Buzz Williams on NCAA hopes: “If you’re talking about a resume on Valentine’s Day” there’s still more work to be done.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) February 13, 2017
Let’s take a quick look at Virginia Tech’s current situation.
Key Wins: @ Michigan, Mississippi, Duke, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, @ Clemson, Boston College, Virginia
Key Losses: Texas A&M, @ NC State, @ Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia, @ North Carolina, @ Miami
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi pegged the Hokies as a No. 9 seed in his latest bracketology released Monday morning. That feels about right. Virginia Tech could still take a step forward or back depending on how the final five games pan out, but it’s a long shot to see them missing the tournament all together.
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A tough stretch ahead
Virginia Tech doesn’t have a brutal stretch over the last five games, but it’s not easy either. It’s a schedule that includes road trips to Pitt, Louisville and Boston College, and home tips against Miami, Clemson and Wake Forest. If the Hokies can at least win half of those, they should be in good shape.
So what happens in March?
If I could predict how the NCAA tourney would pan out, I’d be making millions. Instead, I’m sitting happily behind a laptop pondering various scenarios. It’s hard to see the 2016-17 Hokies making a significant March run. They just aren’t there quite yet. Williams has revitalized the program, but VT has a couple years before it’s ready to seriously contend for a national title.
One glaring stat? The Hokies are 13-1 at home, but just 2-5 on the road. Williams’ bunch hasn’t shown the ability to win consistently on the road, and there won’t be any home games come tournament time. We shall see how it all pans out.