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Virginia Tech awaits NCAA tournament fate

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Virginia Tech did its NCAA tournament hopes no favors by losing, 70-65, to 12th-seeded Miami here in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Despite the loss, the Hokies could still back into the bracket, but it could be closer than it appeared even a few days ago.

"I think if the Hokies are not nervous on Selection Sunday, they should be," Jerry Palm, an independent analyst who runs collegeRPI.com, said Thursday in a telephone interview. "If this were any other year, they'd be way out. But the at-large pool is so weak, they might get in anyway."

Palm added: "If they get left out, I will not be surprised. I will have no defense for them not being selected."

For Virginia Tech, a number of factors are at play when examining its NCAA tournament resume.

The Hokies have one of the worst nonconference schedules in memory, ranking 340th in the Rating Percentage Index as of Thursday afternoon. When assessing at the final teams in the field of 65, this is one of the most important criteria to the selection committee.

Virginia Tech has three wins over teams in the RPI top 50, all of which were over marginal NCAA tournament teams. It has four bad losses, including two to Miami.

Virginia Tech will learn its fate at the end of the weekend. The team will get together on Sunday evening to watch the televised selection show. But the players are not nervous about their chances.

“If this game knocks us out of NCAA tournament, that would be crazy,” guard Malcolm Delaney said. “I’m not worried about it.”

Guard Dorenzo Hudson echoed Delaney’s sentiment, saying of the loss: “I feel like it doesn’t affect us at all. We just need a solid week of practice.”

By Mark Viera  |  March 12, 2010; 6:51 PM ET
 
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