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Virginia Tech fans should cheer for Seton Hall

Virginia Tech has an attractive record (21-4), but its NCAA tournament chances are hurt by a nonconference schedule ranked 340th in the Rating Percentage Index. Part of that was its own fault, part of it was the fault of other teams.

In order to overcome that blemish on their resume, the Hokies need to accumulate wins over teams in the RPI top 50. Virginia Tech, which is No. 44 in the RPI, is currently 2-2 against those top teams. The Hokies have chances to get big wins against Duke (No. 2), Maryland (No. 37) and Georgia Tech (No. 28), but they also might get help from a team they already defeated this year.

Seton Hall has moved to No. 54 in the RPI, and with a few more wins could crack into the top 50. So the morale of the story: Virginia Tech fans should be rooting for the Pirates to finish strong so the Hokies' win over them on Jan. 2 will become another top 50 win.

Seton Hall has been sort of all over the place in the RPI this season. The Pirates reached No. 5 after winning at Cornell on Nov. 20, which has turned out to be a pretty appealing victory because the Big Red has an impressive-looking group. But Seton Hall has also fallen to as low as No. 88 after a loss to the Hokies represented their third defeat in previous four games.

But most of Seton Hall's tough Big East schedule was front-loaded with talented teams like Syracuse on Dec. 29, Georgetown on Jan. 14 and Villanova on Feb. 2, all of which were Pirates' losses. Now, in its five remaining regular-season games, Seton Hall plays only one team, West Virginia (No. 5) on Saturday, rated in the RPI top 50.

With a win over the Mountaineers and a strong finish against weak opponents, Seton Hall could possibly break into the RPI top 50 by season's end. It also wouldn't hurt if the Pirates picked up a few wins in the Big East tournament. That would provide a needed boost for Virginia Tech's NCAA tournament resume, so Hokies fans should probably start rooting for Seton Hall over the season's final few weeks.

By Mark Viera  |  February 18, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
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Next: Virginia Tech prepares to play at Duke


Nice article, but it's "moral" not "morale".

Also, I don't think that Seton Hall needs to beat WVU to break into the RPI Top 50. Losing to a Top 10 RPI team on the road wouldn't be that big a blow. If they just beat everybody else left on their regular-season schedule and then win at least a game in the Big East tournament, I suspect that just might be enough to get them into the final RPI Top 50.

Posted by: danram | February 18, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

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