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Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg vs. No. 1

By Mark Giannotto

There's been a lot made about Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer's record against top five opponents over the years. Perhaps he should seek some advice from his men's basketball counterpart, Seth Greenberg.

During his eight seasons at Virginia Tech, Greenberg is a very solid 2-3 against teams that were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time. All three losses are by three or fewer points, and two times it took a game-winning shot with less than a second left to defeat the Hokies. Greenberg also has a win over No. 1 Kansas during the 1992-93 season when he was coaching at Long Beach State.

He gets a chance to add to that resume Saturday, when the Hokies take on No. 1 Duke at Cassell Coliseum. If you're wondering, Greenberg is 2-7 vs. Duke since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, and the Blue Devils have never been ranked lower than No. 7 in the country when facing the Hokies during that time.

Virginia Tech's most recent win over No. 1 came back in January 2009, when they defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. Virginia Tech is 3-7 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams. The only win to come before Greenberg's tenure was January 10, 1983, when the Hokies scored a 69-56 victory over No. 1 Memphis State at Cassell Coliseum.

So while we're on the subject, after the jump, we'll take a look at Greenberg's memorable moments against No. 1, including some video.

Dec. 4, 2005: 77-75 loss at No. 1 Duke

This is one, unfortunately, most Virginia Tech fans will never forget. Duke’s Josh McRoberts throws a 40-foot pass to Sean Dockery who then hits a miracle shot at the buzzer from just inside the half court line to win the game. It erased whatever good memories that came when Virginia Tech rallied from an 11-point deficit to take the lead in the final four and a half minutes.

To make matters worse, a day earlier the Hokies football team had lost to Florida State in the inaugural ACC championship game. "We did a lot of things that gave us a chance to win the basketball game,” Greenberg said afterwards. “We just got beat by a great team on a great shot."

Jan. 13, 2007: 94-88 win vs No. 1 North Carolina

A week after beating No. 5 Duke, Zabian Dowdell scored 22 points and Jamon Gordon added 17 as Virginia Tech built a 22-point lead and held on late to beat North Carolina. It was the Hokies first win over a No. 1 team in more than 24 years.

"If you don't get jacked up for Carolina and Duke, you need to quit and go be a ballerina or something," Gordon said afterwards. "We came out hard. No reason to be scared."

March 15, 2008: 68-66 loss vs. No. 1 North Carolina

Tyler Hansbrough scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and hit the game winner with 0.8 seconds left to advance North Carolina to the ACC tournament Finals in Charlotte. The next day, Virginia Tech was left out of the NCAA tournament field.

"Anyone who watched that game that knows anything about basketball, if you don't think this team is one of the top 65 teams in the country, you're certifiably insane," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg famously said at the time.

Jan. 21, 2009: 78-71 win at No. 1 Wake Forest

Virginia Tech led throughout as Malcolm Delaney scored 21 points and Jeff Allen chipped in 16 as the Hokies gave Wake Forest its first loss of the season. The victory was Virginia Tech’s second over No. 1 in three years. "With these guys being undefeated,” Delaney said. “that's totally a big one,"

Mar. 13, 2009 L 79-76 vs. No. 1 North Carolina

A.D. Vassallo scored 26 points and Malcolm Delaney added 17, but Vassallo missed a potential game-tying three pointer at the buzzer and the Hokies were eliminated from the ACC tournament by the Tar Heels for a second year in a row. After hitting the go-ahead shot with 36 seconds left, Tyler Hansbrough (28 points) was given a questionable jump ball call when he tied up J.T. Thompson.

“We talked all week about, ‘same story, different ending,’” Greenberg said. “This was same story, same ending.”

And since I don't want to end this post on such a depressing note, here's a bonus video from Virginia Tech's 69-67 overtime victory at then-No. 5 Duke back in January 2007. This particular moment is now immortalized with a giant poster in the entrance area of the Hokies new practice facility.

Greg Paulus, meet Deron Washington:


By Mark Giannotto  | February 25, 2011; 11:08 AM ET
 
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Next: Virginia Tech LB Lyndell Gibson charged with DWI

Comments

damn mark, you just had to bring back those bad memories of the dockery shot... ;-)

Posted by: 3tripleiii | February 25, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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