Another disappointing loss for the Hokies, means that I will be sad writing this column, but such has been life since mid January for us Hokie faithful. Let us turn our heads towards March, which can spark joy for any college basketball fan. Here is this week’s top 25.
The second match up of the season between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the University of Virginia Cavaliers certainly did not disappoint. Just moments after the Hokies’ Tyrece Radford tied the game at 51, Kihei Clark hit a three pointer with 2.1 seconds left to win the game for the Wahoos. Although the fans in Cassell Coliseum did not get the result they were hoping for, the crowd was alive and well to see their Hokies storm back from their early offensive woes. The Hokies came all the way back from being down 15 and only scoring 11 total points at the half to eventually taking the lead with less than 5 minutes left in the game. Virginia Tech scored 42 second half points to nearly pull off the upset but down the stretch, it was the Hoos who made one more big shot at the end of the game to take the lead for good.
Both teams struggled to get any offense going early on. With 9:54 left in the 1st half, Wabissa Bede made a jumper to put the score at 12-6 in favor of UVA. Mike Young went with an interesting starting line up with Landers Nolley II and Jalen Cone on the bench. However, after a couple ineffective offensive possessions, he quickly subbed both players in. Unfortunately for the Hokies, that didn’t create the offensive spark that MY was perhaps looking for. Both teams played well defensively and due to UVA’s slow nature on the offensive side, finding any offensive flow was difficult. Tech was 1 for 13 (7%) behind the arc to end the half.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Live by the three, die by the three.”
The second half was a completely different story for both teams. PJ Horne came out and hit a 3 to jump start the Hokies offense. Landers Nolley started to get into a groove and looked more like his early season self, scoring 10 second half points (13 overall). Jalen Cone hit two big second half 3’s to ignite the crowd and get the Hokies rolling. With 4:52 seconds left, Hunter Catoor completed the comeback by draining a 3 to take the lead 47-46. Tech was 8-14 from behind the arc in the second half. “Live by the…” well, you know. Even with Tech’s offensive outburst, UVA made enough shots to remain within a one point possession.
UVA took the lead 53-51 with 2 minutes left. Neither team scored again until the 11 second mark when Tyrece Radford hit a lay up to even the score at 53. Kihei Clark then took the ball up, took a jab step to create some space between him and the defender, stepped back and nailed the dagger to sink the Hokies. Landers Nolley’s half court attempt to tie it up clanked off the back board and the game had ended.
Tech will travel to play the 11th ranked Louisville Cardinals on Sunday evening at 6pm. Although this was a tough loss to swallow, Mike Young and the boys showed a lot of grit and fight in this game. A young team showed a lot of heart and desire to compete even after such a poor first 20 minutes.
After a brief hiatus for a trip to watch the Hokies trounce the Pitt Panthers, we’re back with some updated rankings. The season is fast coming to a close, and tournament season will shortly be here. We’re all here to see what will happen, so let’s get to the predictions.
The 13-12 Miami Hurricanes stormed their way into Blacksburg to take on the 15-10 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hurricanes came into this game not having lost a game this season when leading at half time. The Hokies, coming off a win against Pittsburgh Saturday night was reared up and ready to go. The crowd at Cassel continues to impress this writer, night in and night out. Keith Stone (not to be confused with Evan Stone), from Miami, who averaged 3.9 points per game decided to have a career first 5 minutes of this game with 7 points and a monster dunk to put the Hurricanes up 13-4. Something I noticed about John Ojiako; he shoots a free throw higher than the clouds. Now, back to the game.
David gave us the chance to spend some time with him and check-in on his current recruitment. We spoke of his game, his recent visit to Blacksburg, and his thoughts on Mike Young and the Hokies. David is a 6’8 forward and is top 150 in the 2020 class. He currently holds offers from Virginia Tech, Washington State, DePaul among others. He’s a great guy and hope he’s a future Hokie. Hope you all enjoy the interview!
Pittsburgh took their 15-10 record to Blacksburg to take on the 14-10 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies have lost their last 5, and 6 out of their last 7. Virginia Tech, at home, came in with a 3 point Vegas advantage. Seeing this game live was absolutely electric and I have to give a round of applause to the fans! The ‘Let’s Go Hokies’ chant rained down over Cassell Coliseum while the Panthers were announced, I couldn’t hear one name from that team due to the volume of the fans and that’s how it went all game long.
It has been a tough week for Hokie and ACC fans, but don’t forget to keep in mind that this rebuild team flew extremely high for a while and showed us what is in store for the future. The Hokies are farther from sniffing the top 25 than they were to start the year, but that doesn’t mean we won’t discuss it.
Guys, we are heading into the last month of regular season play?! It’s hard to believe, but there is no reason to fret… it just means tournament season is looming. Will the ACC be part of it, or has the conference become a 2020 afterthought? Will Big 10 dominance continue? Will a mid-major take down the title? In this wacky season, all of the above could happen! This week’s top 25 is:
Alright everybody, you can take a deep breath and relax, we won! The Virginia Tech Hokies kept finding ways to stay in the game despite a poor shooting night from just about everyone not named Jalen Cone. After big shot after big shot in OT and Double OT, Tyrece Radford hit the biggest shot of his young career to complete the come from behind victory over the Tarheels 79-77. With the game tied and less than 5 seconds remaining, Radford drove the lane and made his only basket of the night to put the Tarheels away.
The Hokies offense continued to struggle, shooting 44% from the floor and 32% from behind the arc. But Jalen Cone hit several timely three pointers to keep the Hokies within reach of UNC. Landers Nolley lead the way for the Hokies with 22 points overall and big time hit clutch free throws in both overtimes. In overtime Landers began to take it to the rim instead of settling for contested jumpers, topping it off with a lay in to send the game into the second OT.
UNC led for most of the game, using their size advantage to give the smaller Hokies fits near the basket. The Tarheels scored 26 first half points when inside of the lane. Garrison Brooks led the way for UNC with 28 points and 13 rebounds. It seemed as if the Hokies did not have an answer for him early on but after turn overs in the offensive zone by the Tarheels and clutch shooting by Jalen Cone, the Hokies had life as the second half came to a close.
Neither team looked particularly sharp this evening but it came down to who was going to hit the clutch shot at the end. UNC had chances to win the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime but were unable to convert. Tyrece Radford and the Hokies took full advantage of their chance and got the win!
It was a great win for the Hokies who will go on the road to play Boston College on Saturday afternoon. Oh and Cassell Coliseum was ROCKING tonight!! Go Hokies!!
At this time in the year, we have some real insights into teams, and where they may end up in the NCAA tournament. We’d say anyone hanging around the top 15 is still in the running for a 1 seed, especially with no one truly separating themselves above the rest of the college ranks, except the Aztecs who hang onto undefeated dreams. Top 25 is below: