By Rich Tandler
VIRGINIA TECH PAGE VIRGINIA TECH VIDEO
The bubble burst one more time.
For the fourth straight year, Seth Greenberg and the Virginia Tech Hokies sat watching the NCAA tournament selection show, wondering whether they would be one of the teams whose name was called.
And for the fourth straight year, there is disappointment in Blacksburg as Virginia Tech found itself on the outside of the bubble looking in. Although most bracketologists had the Hokies in the field, after all 68 teams were named during the selection telecast, the Hokies were left out.
Greenberg's frustration has reached the point where he put up a conspiracy theory in a hastily called news conference in his office.
"You almost wonder if someone in that roomdoesn't have an agenda, and that agenda doesn't include Virginia Tech," he said."
"You hate to think that there's politics involved, but it makes you wonder."
Even an expansion of the field to 68, a new development this year, couldnt get the Hokies a berth in the tournament. Instead, the Hokies will go to the NIT for the fourth straight year. They will face Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.
What Id like to know is if theres ever been a team thats won nine games in the ACC and played the non-conference schedule that we played and beat a No. 1 seed and still didnt get in," Greenberg said, citing some of his team's NCAA credentials.
Only four teams from the ACC Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State got into the NCAAs. The Hokies beat Duke once and Florida State twice.
After the Hokies beat Duke at Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 26, they looked like they were locks to make the field. But then they did the only thing that would endanger their chances of making the NCAA tournament, as they lost to Boston College and Clemson to finish up the regular season. Not only did they lose to those two middling ACC teams, but they also didnt look particularly good in doing so.
They came to the ACC tournament needing a win against Georgia Tech to get back into the conversation for a bid. They did that, handing the Yellow Jackets a 59-43 defeat.
Next up was Florida State. It looked as if the Seminoles had broken the Hokies' hearts along with bursting their bubble as a shot at the final buzzer went through the hoop to make the scoreboard read FSU 53, Virginia Tech 52. But after an examination of the replay, the officials waved off the basket, ruling that the buzzer went off just fraction of a second before the ball left the shooters hand.
However, Duke knocked the Hokies out in the semifinals of the ACC tournament on Saturday, leaving some doubt as to whether Tech had done enough to get invited to the NCAA.
It appears the two late losses plus two losses to Virginia earlier in the year may have been fatal blows to the Hokies chances.
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