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Virginia Tech falls to struggling Miami

Virginia Tech seemed in position to set itself on course for the NCAA tournament with two pivotal road games in a four-day stretch. The Hokies' thrilling overtime win at Virginia seemed as if it had turned their season around, but that notion changed again on Sunday.

With an 82-75 loss at Miami, Virginia Tech came back to the reality that it still has a long, tough fight in the Atlantic Coast Conference if it wants to play meaningful basketball in March.

The Hurricanes (16-5, 2-5) were coming off of four-straight losses and appeared to be the weakest team in the conference. It set up nicely for the Hokies (16-4, 3-3) as they enter the important month of February, but they could not take advantage of the opportunity to steal another road win.

Miami built an early first-half lead and got ahead by as many as 19 point before the Hokies showed their grit by narrowing the deficit in the second half. All night, Virginia Tech had trouble defending the Hurricanes' three-point shooters; Miami is one of the conference's top-shooting teams from behind the arc.

Virginia Tech returns to Blacksburg to host North Carolina on Thursday and then Clemson on Saturday. Both games will be important as the Hokies navigate through the white-knuckle ACC.

By Mark Viera  |  January 31, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
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