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After NCAA letdown, Virginia Tech looks to NIT

After Virginia Tech was left out of the NCAA tournament on Sunday, Coach Seth Greenberg called Penn State's Ed DeChellis, whose team narrowly missed making the 2009 NCAA field before winning the National Invitation Tournament. Greenberg wanted advice on how to get the Hokies ready after being disappointed.

For yet another season, the Hokies have to pick itself up after being let down by the committee on Selection Sunday. Virginia Tech was left out of the field of 65 for a third straight year, and it's the second time in that brief span when it narrowly missed an at-large bid.

The Hokies (23-8) host Quinnipiac (23-9) here on Wednesday night and they have to get ready to get back on the court.

"That’s our job," Greenberg told a small group of reporters on Sunday night. "We’re going to have a great practice tomorrow. I told them, I said, ‘It’s going to hurt today.’ There’s no doubt about that."

Virginia Tech was left out of the NCAA tournament thanks largely to its abysmal nonconference schedule. While the Hokies finished with a 10-6 record and tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, its nonconfernece slate ranked 339th out of 347 teams in the Ratings Percentage Index.

Despite missing the Big Dance, Greenberg has seemed to try to go about things as business as usual. In fact, on Tuesday he was scheduled to host one of his regular "Chalk Talk" sessions for students in which he meets with them in an on-campus dining commons to break down the Hokies' upcoming opponent.

Although the Hokies' received a No. 1 seed, it has been little consolation for being left out of the NCAA bracket. On Monday, Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney wrote on his Twitter page: "gone b depressed for a few days.. honestly im not even gone b watchin the tourney.. want my homies to do well, but jus not interested."

But Greenberg said he will try to frame it as another opportunity for his team to win a championship on a grand stage. The semifinals and finals of the NIT are held at Madison Square Garden.

"We have a chance to go to New York and cut down the nets," Greenberg said. "That’s going to be the vision we’re going to sell to our team.”

By Mark Viera  |  March 16, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
 
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