Why Virginia Tech Will Make the NCAA Tournament for the First Time in 11 Years By: Peter Snyder

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It’s Monday. I am on cloud nine because my beloved Philadelphia Eagles have clinched a trip to Super Bowl 52. It is also the first day back at college and after a long day of classes, I just want to sit down, grab a drink and watch some college hoops. The scene: Blacksburg, as an unranked Virginia Tech Hokies team welcomes in the defending national champions and 10th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tar Heels came into the game as big favorites but I knew this had upset written all over it for three reasons. One, during the pregame, Virginia Tech honored their legendary former football coach, Frank Beamer which got the crowd all types of fired up. Two, the student section had a black out and were jumping before the ball even tipped off and three, coach Buzz Williams was dressed for success in this masterful outfit.

North Carolina Virginia Tech Basketball

Any man who can pull off pink sneakers with a three-piece is due to have some success.

Virginia Tech came out firing from the gates, hitting everything from outside the arc, around with nailing their perimeter jump shots. The problem was however, early in the game they could not buy a stop and this one had shootout written all over it. Late in the first half, as Tech’s offense continued to score, their defense started to tighten up and this was in big thanks to their big junior rim protector, Kenny Blackshear Jr. who was pulling down rebounds the entire night like it was his day job. VT went to the locker room with a sweaty coach and a 39-32 lead.

Now Buzz Williams is known to be an animated coach, but what we saw on Monday night can only be described as a theatrical performance. Williams was so involved and so active in every single play you might have thought he was playing in the game and just had in and out-of-bounds confused.

Williams’ antics were perceived well by his team as this game was over with about 10 minutes to go in the second half. VT kept getting big stops and kept making big, outside shots and that is a perfect recipe for success in college basketball. Virginia Tech went on to complete the upset and really dominate the basketball game by the score of 80-69. Hokies guard Justin Robinson had a monster game in lue of the teams win, collecting 19 points on the night to go along with 5 boards and 4 assist. Virginia Tech now sits in the middle of the wildly talented ACC, have a 14-6 record, and if this team can stay hot you will see them dancing come March for the first time since 2007. Now will it be easy, of course not, as the ACC is one of if not the most competitive conference in college basketball, but tonight’s win showed the country and especially showed the ACC that this team can compete with the big dogs in the conference and they can beat them. This is not a team you want to run into come ACC tournament play. They are young, athletic and shoot the ball extremely well from the outside. They are also very well coached and we all know that good coaching and experience can go a far way in postseason play and in some ways can go further than talent with bad coaching and inexperience. I am very intrigued and interested to see what Williams does with this ball club for the rest of the year and who knows, they could be a team who breaks some brackets come early March. GO HOKIES!

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