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Posted at 10:36 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Will Virginia Tech make the NCAA tournament?

By Mark Giannotto

It's been the question on every Virginia Tech fan's mind since this season began, and now, as the Hokies get this week off before their final seven conference games, there really is no avoiding it. The Hokies sport a 15-7 record, and once again find themselves squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. So will Virginia Tech's name be called on Selection Sunday for the first time since 2007?

Nobody knows definitively at this point, and like all bubble teams, the Hokies' resume has its strengths and weaknesses. In addition, Virginia Tech still has two chances to score wins over quality opponents (home games vs. Duke and Boston College) as well as a couple games against teams in similar situations (Maryland, at Clemson). There's also next month's ACC tournament as well.

So with that in mind, let's play a little game of good and bad, before I leave the ultimate question up to you, the reader.

The Good: Senior forward Jeff Allen is currently averaging 13.2 points and 10 rebounds per game, including 19 points and 13 rebounds during the past four games. If he stays at his current pace, Allen would become the first player in program history to average a double-double over the course of a season.

The Bad: The Hokies are just 2-2 in the last four games thanks in part to how little help Allen and the rest of the starters have gotten from their bench. Virginia Tech's reserves are averaging just five points in the last four games and have been outscored 94-20 during that time.

The Good: After leading the ACC in scoring a year ago, senior Malcolm Delaney is second in the ACC this season, averaging 18.3 points per game while shooting a career-best 43 percent. He's also fourth in the conference in assists at 4.3 per game.

The Bad: In conference games, Delaney's scoring average has only fallen to 17.6 points per game but over the last four games his shooting percentage has dipped to a 37 percent clip. Not to mention, Delaney hasn't finished a game shooting above 50 percent since a Jan. 2 win over Mount St. Mary's. He also has a career-low 1.29 assist-to-turnover ratio this year, including a team-worst 73 turnovers.

The Good: Virginia Tech is 8-0 this year when it has finished a game shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

The Bad: The Hokies have accomplished that feat just once in the past five games (a win over Miami), and have shot below 41 percent in three of those games.

The Good: Virginia Tech hasn't lost at Cassell Coliseum since a disappointing defeat to Virginia back on Dec. 5 -- a span of seven games. Overall this season, the Hokies are 8-2 at home and have a solid 7-5 mark on road or neutral courts, which could come in handy when the selection committee is debating bubble teams.

The Bad: Following Saturday's 58-56 loss at Boston College, Virginia Tech is now just 2-4 this year in games that have gone to overtime or been decided by five points or less. More importantly, in three of those losses (vs. Purdue, at North Carolina and at Boston College), the Hokies had the lead in the second half with a chance to score a much needed victory over a team currently ranked in the RPI top 50. The two wins came over St. Bonaventure and Oklahoma State, which is Virginia Tech's most impressive win to date.

So with all that in mind, what do you think? Will Delaney and Allen play in their first-ever March Madness or will the Hokies be relegated to NIT status once again? Remember, Virginia Tech still has seven games remaining and the ACC tournament to either enhance or downgrade its resume.

By Mark Giannotto  | February 8, 2011; 10:36 AM ET
 
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Next: Could the ACC cost Virginia Tech an NCAA tournament bid?

Comments

New year, same result. And we know that the NCAA tournament committee has no love for Va. Tech, so I say they ignore us again unless we do something to definitely separate ourselves from the other bubble teams but I really don't see VT doing that. The biggest damage has been losing Thompson as the first guy off the bench - that was like having a 6th starter IMHO. Next year we lose Allen & Delaney so I don't see us making the tourney for another two years at least!! Sad, very SAD!

Posted by: HokiePost | February 8, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope they do make it, but I voted "no."

As in prior years, too many close games have gotten away at the end. Unlike prior years, there are some decent out of conference wins -Okla State, and maybe Miss State and Penn State.

Finally, it seems that the injury curse is very strong for VT this year -who knows what coulda/woulda been with a full front court and bench, plus the ACC seems to still get no love despite having the last two tourney winners...

Posted by: CDRHoek | February 8, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Where's the I hope so option?

Posted by: Ragingcroc | February 8, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse


They've become a perennial bubble team, so the law of averages would have them getting in some years.

This year they're a pretty good team, so I'm going to say it comes down to their shooting.

If they start making a higher percentage of their shots, they'll get in. In particular, Delaney needs to make a higher percentage of his shots, and ALL of his free throws.

Posted by: Benson | February 9, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

You're right, the NCAA Selection Committee has no love for the cHokies. They're so unfair. I wonder if winning would help ??

Posted by: JEGman | February 9, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

You mean do something they have only done twice in the last 25 years? I would say not likely. I'm know Whineberg will let everyone know they ALMOST beat UNC or Duke so they should be in.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 10, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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