The Virginia Tech Hokies have spent so many years on the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble that they had us all convinced that the "Moops," not the "Moors," invaded Spain in the 8th Century. Which is why the Hokies 64-60 win over no. 1 Duke was so huge for Virginia Tech's NCAA Tournament hopes.
The Hokies' win improved VT's marginal tournament resume and all but punched Seth Greenberg's crew's ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Adding Tech to the mix gives the ACC at least four NCAA Tournament teams -- Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia Tech, with BC, Clemson and Maryland all sweating it out on the bubble.
Well, almost punched Virginia Tech's ticket as the Hokies aren't completely out of the woods yet. The Hokies have games remaining against Boston College and Clemson. Lose both those games and Greenberg will probably find his squad exactly where it found itself on Saturday morning -- squarely on the bubble.
For the Eagles, it's a one-game season following their 63-44 win over the Cavaliers at JPJ Arena. Beat the Hokies and our NCAA Tournament hopes live to see another day. Lose down in Blacksburg, and BC is likely N.I.T.-bound.
The first time around, the Eagles used the Hokies to halt a three-game losing streak, winning 58-56 up in Chestnut Hill. Donahue made some adjustments on defense -- abandoning some 1-3-1 in favor of more man-to-man looks -- and the Eagles' defense held the Hokies to a then-season low 34.5 percent shooting from the field. And BC got the win despite Reggie Jackson going scoreless for nearly three-quarters of the game before scoring 10 points in the game's final 11:07.
A regular season sweep of both Maryland and Virginia Tech would look pretty good on the Eagles' resume heading into the finale against Wake and the ACC Tournament. Especially with the Hokies' win pushing them closer to NCAA Tournament "lock" status and Maryland still hanging around for the bubble block party.
It's "survive and advance" for the Eagles now, starting with Tuesday night's trip to the Cassell.
Elsewhere on the already shrinking bubble ... Colorado got a big win over a Top 5-ranked Texas team, which probably pushes the Buffs onto the right side of the bubble. Baylor beat A&M, which was a bit of a double-whammy for us. Georgia cruised past South Carolina, just like everyone else in the SEC, and Kansas State beat a ranked Missouri team. Again, not good for BC.
On the wrong side of the bubble, Iowa State knocked off Nebraska in OT, which effectively kills any hopes of the Huskers getting an at-large bid. Michigan beat a reeling Minnesota team that has lost seven of its last eight and is probably NIT-bound. Colorado State lost to Air Force, and currently joins BC on the wrong side of the bubble. Southern Miss lost to UCF, and probably needs to win C-USA to get in.
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