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ACC hoops comes to Cassell

Although Virginia Tech's meeting with Boston College is not the first Atlantic Coast Conference meeting in Blacksburg, this is the first time there's been real buzz before a game.

About an hour before tipoff, there were folks roaming around downtown and others hawking tickets on campus. The Virginia Tech students will be deck out in orange T-shirts and there's a large news media contingent on hand. Yep, ACC basketball is back in earnest at Cassell Coliseum.

The Hokies (14-3, 1-2) host Boston College (11-8, 2-3) in a game they need to win to stay relevant in a topsy-turvy conference.

Boston College is still trying to find itself after the departure of guard Tyrese Rice. It has struggled to score points in league games. But the Eagles enter the game having lost three of there last four and will be looking for an opportunity to get back on track, so they will be looking for something positive to get them on track. It's important for Virginia Tech to start quickly.

With about 15 minutes before tip off, the Marching Virginians were playing and the seats were starting to fill up. This is the first ACC game for which the students will be on campus, having returned from a holiday break. And you can already sense that based on the vibe in the arena.

By Mark Viera  |  January 23, 2010; 1:06 PM ET
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Next: Halftime notes from BC game

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