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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.”

By Mark Viera  |  March 15, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

hahahaha.

Go Terps.

No NCAA's for Tech this year.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Aren't we beyond the whole "It's hard to get to Blacksburg" thing? So VT is 40 minutes from the Roanoke airport. From RDU it's 40 minutes to UNC and 30 to Duke. 35 minutes from Reagan Nat'l to College Park. 35 from Piedmont Triad to Wake Forest. Et cetera. And on all those routes you're likely to hit a lot more traffic than you'll see on I-81 between Roanoke and Blacksburg. Can we please come up with a better excuse for not wanting to travel to Va. Tech?

Posted by: exit118 | March 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

exit118:

maybe teams are getting lost looking for exit 37? (that's getting to be an old-timer's reference now!)

I think the key in all that location and difficulty of travel talk is "excuse."

VT football went through this same thing about 20 years ago. As soon as you improve up into the middle of the pack, the top dogs don't want to schedule you anymore.

Unfortunately the solution is often accepting that you'll have to go win some tough road games without returns, at first. It would help if the conference went to bat for you - and we know the Big East did squat to help VT football back in the day. Wonder if the ACC makes an effort to assist in VT's basketball schedule now?

Posted by: CDRHoek | March 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

As a VT fan, I'll admit that the WVU excuse isn't good, as Charleston is almost in the middle. It's just that WVU fans would have every entrance into WV blocked with pitchforks and rifles and D.C. would be a half/half fan wise. No way you can play a neutral game in WV but I would love to try a series.

Welcome Poopy - good to see you guys out of the woodwork after a few seasons. Burn anything lately?

Posted by: HokieDoke | March 15, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

According to Google Maps, it is 138 miles from Blacksburg to Charleston versus 156 miles from Morgantown to Charleston.

Coach Greenburg's whining would be easier to take if he knew what he was talking about.

Posted by: Sluggo51 | March 16, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Greenburg's whining shows that he is the problem and not the schedule. He needs to play good teams and beat them wherever they are - this is what you must do to get games with good teams. Games played at non-home or neutral locations make your team better and more competitive in the end of the season, which is where the Hokies are experiencing their problems this year and in the past.
I was feeling sorry for Coach G until I read this article. Not any more. Write more aticles on the Hokies and their real problem - their coach being too picky on where games are played.
Blacksburg has never been a good place to play for a completely different reason stated in the article - it is one tough place to play if you are a visiting team. That is why Dean Smith would never agree to play Tech in Blacksburg during Tech's pre-ACC years as a home and home agreement made no sense to Smith who wanted and usually got all the good SW Virginia players if they were out there. Mileage from airports has nothing to do with this issue.

Posted by: DSMWilkins | March 16, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Greenberg won't play WVU in DC? According to the Post VT is a local team? Doesn't half of Northern Virginia root for the Hokies? Ole Seth is making excuses.

It's no wonder VT's schedule is full of cupcakes? If thing's aren't perfectly in ole Seth's favor he won't play a good team.

Virginia Tech has at least two NBA players on their roster,[DELANEY&ALLEN]. It's a real pity that they can't play a quality non conference schedule including natural rivals because their boneheaded coach is a whining crybaby who has to have the moon aligned with Jupiter to schedule a game!

ENJOY THE NIT VIRGINIA TECH!

Posted by: sbf845 | March 16, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Really Seth? The Roanoke Airport? It doesn't seem to affect the football team's success. Take some responsibility for not getting the job done in the first game of the ACC Tournament. And then getting out-maneuvered by Wake. Take a look in the mirror VT.

Posted by: hokierealist | March 16, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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