Virginia Tech seeking better schedule
Dan Guerrero, the chair of the NCAA division I men's basketball committee and the UCLA athletic director, was asked directly Sunday night what kept Virginia Tech out of the field of 65. His answer: nonconference schedule.
This is a problem Hokies Coach Seth Greenberg knows about, has tried to amend and will attempt to do so again in this offseason.But he said late Sunday night that he has had a hard time trying to set up quality home-and-home series.
"It’s hard to get people to come to Blacksburg and to play a home and home," Greenberg said. "I’d love to play Pitt; I’m not sure they’re going to play us home and home. A lot has been talked about West Virginia; they wanted us to play in D.C. and then we’d play in Charleston, W.Va. Well, Charleston, W.Va., is a home game for West Virginia. Washington, D.C. is four hours away; it’s not a home game. I might play them in Richmond, but I’m not going to play them in Washington, D.C., four hours away. I mean, they’re as close to D.C. as we are, and we’re a lot farther from Charleston, W.Va."
Virginia Tech' nonconference schedule ranked 339th out of 347 in the Ratings Percentage Index and was cited as the main reason it was left out of the NCAA tournament for a third straight season.
As it is now, the Hokies are scheduled to play the 76 Classic over Thanksgiving weekend next season in Anaheim, Calif. The other participants will include Oklahoma State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Penn State, DePaul, Stanford, Tulsa and Cal State Northridge.
But it's not easy to get opponents to Blacksburg because, well, it's simply not easy to get to Blacksburg. Many visiting teams have to fly into a small airport in Roanoke, which is about 40 minutes away from the campus.
Greenberg said Virginia Tech was also working with television networks to try to gin up some attractive nonconference games and to try to get in some made-for-television events. He said the program was working on a home-and-home series that is "really a big-time home and home," but did not name the team.
"I think we’re an attractive team next year," Greenberg said, "but you’ve also got to win those games.”
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