Thursday, March 4, 2010

ACC Tournament - Hokies go quietly, UVa. up next

The thing about losing in the first round of a conference tournament is that it feels as though you're out of the event before it even gets started. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, after a 30-percent shooting effort in their ACC Tournament opener the Hokies are experiencing that feeling.

ACC Tournament

#7 Boston College 62, #10 Virginia Tech 49: Extremely disappointing showing by the Hokies; not that they lost but that they were never really in it. The Hokies (15-15) missed 12 of their first 13 shots in falling behind 19-4, and while the Eagles were never able to completely pull away, they never felt the Hokies breath on their necks, either. Surprising, too, because the Hokies were coming in on something of a roll having won their last two. The Eagles surely deserve credit for tightening up the holes Tech exploited in its 69-64 victory over BC in Blacksburg last month. But when you shoot 30 percent over 40 minutes, a lot of that is on you, too. So what happens next? Tech did just enough (a .500 record) to be eligible for a WNIT/College Basketball Invitational bid. Normally an RPI in the 120 range wouldn't get you much. But with 144 postseason spots available this year between the NCAA, the now-64-team WNIT and the new 16-team Womens Basketball Invitational, we think Tech will have a chance to play more basketball. Good thing, too, because we're sure they don't want to go out the way they did Thursday.

Other ACC first-round results

#9 Maryland 83, #8 North Carolina 77 - Sure was strange watching these two perennial powers battling for first-round scraps on a Thursday afternoon in a mostly empty Greensboro Coliseum.

#5 Wake Forest 66, #12 Miami 65 (OT) - Wake a #5 seed? And we thought the CAA race was crazy.

#6 N.C. State 59, #11 Clemson 54 - Newport News native Bonae Holston scores 22 to lead the Wolfpack to a date with Virginia.

Friday's quarterfinals

#5 Wake Forest vs. #4 Georgia Tech, 11 a.m.
#8 Maryland vs. #1 Duke, 3 p.m.
# 7 Boston College vs. #2 Florida State, 6 p.m.
# 6 N.C. State vs. #4 Virginia, 8 p.m. - We'll have a lot more on this game, as well as Richmond's Atlantic 10 Tournament opener and the Radford-Liberty Big South regular-season finale, in an upcoming post.

Other Thursday results

Hampton 55, Howard 43: The Lady Pirates (17-11, 12-4 MEAC) close the regular season by winning three straight, 11 of their last 12 and 13 of their final 15 games. Hampton will be the No. 2 seed in next week's MEAC Tournament.

North Carolina A&T 79, Norfolk State 59: Tough way to end the regular season for the MEAC-winless Spartans (4-22, 0-16) - with a road game at the league's No. 1 team.

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