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Virginia Tech Left Out


Enjoy the NIT, star.

Va. Tech beat writer Adam Kilgore will have much more on the Hokies' exclusion in tomorrow's paper, but in the meantime, he provides this update on A.D. Vassallo's thoughts from Saturday evening. My own feelings: I don't care about RPI and I certainly don't care about an early-season loss at Old Dominion. If you finish fourth in the ACC, beat the fifth- place team (an NCAA 7 seed) to go to the ACC semis, and take the NCAA's top overall seed to the absolute last second in its home state, you're in like Jonny Flynn. Ok, bad example. Also, I'd probably get more comments by saying the Hokies were a complete fraud with zero quality wins, so you can pretend I said that if you want.

By Adam Kilgore, in Charlotte

While Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg spoke passionately Saturday about his team's NCAA tournament credentials, his enigmatic shooting guard A.D. Vassallo had a slightly different reaction.

"I really don't care about that tournament crap," Vassallo said. "If they pick us, good. If not, we'll just go to some other tournament in the postseason. I ain't worried about that stuff. I just want to play basketball."

From Vassallo, though, perhaps this shouldn't have been a surprise. Obviously, we aready knew that he was a pretty creative guy from previous posts about the "PR" shaved into the back of his head surrounded by a star. Saturday, just before halftime of Tech's stellar 68-66 loss to North Carolina, Vassallo protested an unfavorable foul call like no one ever has before.

Vassallo was called for hitting Ty Lawson as he drove for a lay-up, and he immediately bolted over the media table. By chance, he ran straight to Lynchburg News & Advance Virginia beat writer Andy Bitter, grabbed Bitter's pen and scribbled, "AD not foul" on Bitter's legal pad. The entire thing was so awesome, I don't have much else to say, so now's a good time to yield to Vassallo:

"I thought I didn't foul him. The guy's like 5-10 and he put the ball down at his hip. He tried to shoot, and I blocked it. It wasn't a foul.

"I didn't want to piss off the referee. I thought that was the easiest way to relieve my frustration. And it worked. I didn't do nothing stupid to hurt my team. I was just really upset so I just felt like writing something. I just wanted to make sure he knew I didn't foul the guy."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 8:06 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Comments

Well, at least Blacksburg won't have to worry about burning sofas.

Posted by: Gary Williams | March 16, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The whole thing was a shot at the A-11.

Coppin/MSM in the play in game, UMBC/GU, VT and VCU out.

And Duke/WVU playing in DC.

Posted by: Tracy | March 16, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I am a Virginia Tech alumni and am outraged at the exclusion of Virginia Tech's men's basketball team from the NCAA tourney. You don't have to be a fan of the Hokies to know this non-selection reeks of politics.
How can a lower ranked ACC team be selected when this team controlled and almost beat the #1 team in the country? Not to mention VT's outstanding play in the last few weeks which I heard was a qualifying factor for the big dance.
Despite Coach Greenberg's comments about the saneness of excluding VT after their heroic effort against UNC, one need only look at their RPI and their record against fellow ACC colleges. This includes Miami who we dominated recently.

I hope the NCAA gets HELL from this political crap they have pulled!

Posted by: Timothy Heberling | March 16, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"Also, I'd probably get more comments by saying the Hokies were a complete fraud with zero quality wins."

You don't read this bog very often do you, Adam?

I love this team and their attitude towards the game. They're a special team. Fans are worried about who they play and where they play all while asking what do they deserve. The players just want to play some basketball.

Posted by: sitruc | March 16, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

There's no need to copy and paste that everywhere, Timothy Heberling. We got the point.

//I wish the Miami game in Blacksburg had been televised

Posted by: sitruc | March 16, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Every time I see THE WASHINGTON POST with Virginia Tech sports coverage as though it were a local DC team, I cringe. Don't we have enough local teams around the metropolitan Washington, DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area already?

Three-hundred and fifty-one miles away in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is nearly one hour and one hundred miles (take your pick) FARTHER from Washington, DC than Duke in Durham, yet last time I checked the POST had not adopted the Blue Devils.

For that matter, when is THE POST going to hire reporters to cover Penn State, Rutgers and St. John's which are closer?

I don't want to hear that it's because a lot of students from this area attend Va. Tech. So they go out of town. Big deal. Save the gasoline, and give more ink and air to local Washington sports. Just my local opinion.

Posted by: John Seng | March 16, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

John Seng,

You must live in MD or DC. Otherwise, you'd know that practically half the people in NOVA went to VTech or UVA. The Post is catering to its readers and surprise, people in NOVA read the Post. Its not like its costing you more to read the washingtonpost.com because they got a beat writer for VT/UVA.

If you don't like it, then don't read it. Heck, that's what we NOVA people do when we see UMD stories.

Posted by: LC | March 16, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I get worried every time an athlete is described as enigmatic. Sometimes it's best to ignore the beat of one's own drummer.

Posted by: Everett W. | March 16, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The fact is...they DIDN'T beat the #1 team in the country. Close doesn't count for anything. V. Tech was good, but not good enough to make the tourney, and that's all there is to it.

Posted by: Aaron | March 16, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

John Seng, you're having difficulty reading maps. Maybe you should just use google maps instead. It tells me that Blacksburg is 269 miles away from DC.

Posted by: T | March 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Va Tech is a good team, but had they beaten UNC, or even Clemson to end the regular season, we wouldn't be having this debate. They didn't really play anyone of substance before conference play, and their lack of quality wins in-conference goes to show that they needed at least one more marquee win on their profile. That being said, I still think they would have gotten in if Georgia hadn't won the SEC.

Posted by: coleman | March 16, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

While I think John Seng's "I don't want to hear that it's because a lot of students from this area attend Va. Tech" is not a valid way of rejecting what is the overriding reason the Post writes about Va. Tech, I do feel like we should check his claims. Please note that the vast majority of my Va. Tech pith over 2 seasons of Atlantic 11 poll voting has been based on Blacksburg being far away (I believe I have claimed that it is actually further away than the sun, which is over 93 million miles).

Using Google Maps:

DC to Blacksburg: 269 miles
DC to Durham: 257 miles
DC to State College, PA: 201 miles
DC to New Brunswick: 196 miles
DC to Queens: 241 miles

So, it's not 100+ miles further, as he said, but Blacksburg is still further away than every school he mentioned. I was personally shocked that Google Maps could actually process the various algorithms, parabolas, and formulas needed to calculate how far it is to Blacksburg (which I now believe defies our existing Earth measurement systems).

Posted by: Jason | March 17, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Virginia Tech is one of the largest STATE schools in VIRGINIA. The Post covers Maryland/DC/VIRGINA. What is so hard to understand here? The Post doesn't cover New York, Pennsylvania or North Carolina so of course it doesn't cover any colleges in those states.

Posted by: Laney | March 17, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"So, it's not 100+ miles further, as he said, but Blacksburg is still further away than every school he mentioned. I was personally shocked that Google Maps could actually process the various algorithms, parabolas, and formulas needed to calculate how far it is to Blacksburg (which I now believe defies our existing Earth measurement systems)."

You people are idiots.

It's not about how far away a school is to the publication. It's about what percentage of the publication's readers are alumni/fans of the school. I think at last poll, VT alums accounted for something like 1/3 of the DC Metro Area, surpassed only by UMD at around 40%.

The fact that you people are so outraged that a newspaper would cater part of their reporting to a third of their readers illustrates the depths of your ignorance.

Posted by: Duffman | March 17, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

So now the NCAA should give out bids because you almost beat a great team?

Posted by: Matt | March 17, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

So by the "we almost beat North Carolina" logic, then certainly UMD should have been in. They're one of only two teams to actually beat the 'Heels.

Amazingly the tournament committee looks at many factors when selecting who gets invited to the Big Dance. The season is not based solely on a conference tournament. I often laugh when a bubble team becomes infuriated after not being invited. If a team thinks it is good enough to make a run at the championship, then perhaps they should have played themselves into the tournament as opposed to a level of mediocrity. I'm a loyal Terps fan. It was just as silly for Gary to cry about it a couple years ago as it is for Seth to cry about it now.

Gus Gilchrest realized that VA Tech is a football school (although they bring up classy fellows like DeAngelo Hall and the Vick Brothers). Perhaps it's time for the rest of the Tech fanbase to realize the same thing?

Posted by: Bryan | March 17, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Gus Gilchrest realized that VA Tech is a football school (although they bring up classy fellows like DeAngelo Hall and the Vick Brothers). Perhaps it's time for the rest of the Tech fanbase to realize the same thing?"

---

A football school that swept you in basketball.

Classy Players like Steroids Merriman?

There's an old saying about a pot and a kettle that they apparently don't teach at UMD.

Posted by: Duffman | March 17, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

As a Tech fan, I'm bummed that they were not selected.

I understand the reasons against - no big out of conference win, no big in conference wins (until the ACC tourney), and several bad out of conference losses. I still think it's strange to see a Miami team that finished below Tech, and lost to them in the ACC tourney, get in at #7...

So anyway, I'm wondering now if Maryland had finished out strong - aside from losing to Tech the second time - would Maryland have gotten themselves AND Tech into the NCAAs?

Posted by: Rob | March 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

VT sold out and set, up until then, an attendance record at "the Danny" vs. USC. Terps can't sell out Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium unless WVU comes to town. I guess along with people traveling, there must be some local interest re: VT.

Posted by: benzotim | March 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

OK, I admit my mistake on the distance of "Blacksburg, Virginia" to Washington, DC which according to Mapquest http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Blacksburg+VA/Washington+DC/, is more than 262 miles.

(I'm not so much having difficulty reading maps today as were the founders of Virginia towns in being creative and exclusive, with Mapquest showing three Blacksburgs in three different Virginia counties.)

Obviously, there's only one Virginia Tech, but I could find no decent-sized daily newspaper online that is based in the Virginia Tech Blacksburg.

So, given that Washington-area residents who are Virginia Tech fans deserve quality coverage, and the POST sees fit to cater to your needs, so be it. But the fans are local, not the team or school. I suggest that the POST dedicate lots of extra space to Va. Tech in an out-of-town sports section.

As to the Terps not selling out in football at the only College Park in the State of Maryland, attendance is high and growing with let's just say a little more competition for entertainment in the DC metro area per capita than all three Blacksburgs combined, however distant.

Posted by: John Seng | April 3, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

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