A.D. Vassallo coolly said after Sunday's overtime win against North Carolina State that he knew if Virginia Tech forced overtime, it would win. This could easily have been chalked up as a confident player -- remember Vassallo arguing with Coach Seth Greenberg about defensive assignments against Clemson? -- but there was legitimacy to Vassallo's claim.
Virginia Tech is 8-2 in its last 10 overtime games. By the time a game reaches overtime, it is well established that both teams have played nearly as well. And a sample size of 10 games that spans a few seasons suggests Virginia Tech's success is not coincidence. For the basis of comparison, Duke -- a successful, well-coached program -- is 3-7 in its last 10 overtime games.
"We try to embrace overtime," Greenberg said. "We try to embrace the first 40 minutes, but it doesn't always work, either. Getting off to a good start has been the key. Getting stops. We never come into an overtime, saying 'Oh, we got to go into overtime.' I say, 'Hey, this is basketball. this is greatest sport in the world, and you get to play five extra minutes. It's tremendous. Go out there and play.' And that's the mindset I always try to sell them in that timeout going into overtime."
February 10, 2009; 11:51 AM ET
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