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|Welcome to TSLMail #152 - Friday, November 19, 2004||
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Village Realty Wants You to Take a Vacation!
If you've been to North Carolina's Outer Banks, then you know what a great vacation destination it is, and if you've never been there, then you don't know what you're missing. TSL's newest sponsor, Village Realty, wants you to head to the Outer Banks!
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It might not be beach weather right now, but the Outer Banks is great for golf and all kinds of family fun. As they say, the Outer Banks helps people remember why they work so hard.
Please check out Village Realty's website. To get yourself in the mood, select one of their properties and take a virtual tour -- we guarantee it will make you want to head to the Outer Banks!
The Virginia Tech menís basketball team will begin the 2004-05 schedule tonight when they take on Loyola (Md.) at Cassell Coliseum. While that may seem like a yawner, never before in Tech basketball history has the out of conference schedule been as important as it is this season. Simply having a winning overall record means the NIT for ACC teams, and if the Hokies hope to accomplish this feat, they are going to have to roll through their out of conference schedule like never before.
Since 1999, Techís out of conference records when heading into conference play have been 6-5 in 1999-00, 6-5 in 2000-01, 6-6 in 2001-02, 6-6 in 2002-03 and 7-4 in 2003-04. The Hokies look to improve upon those marks this season. There going to have to if they want to make the postseason.
For the most part, the Hokies havenít exactly been playing the LA Lakers of the college basketball world out of conference. This year is no different.
Three teams that are projected last in their conference. Two more teams that are projected next to last. 8 of the 11 teams that the Hokies play from out of conference are predicted to finish in the bottom half of their own conference.
The one exception, and this is a big exception, is Mississippi State. The Hokies play the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans on December 30. State returns SEC Player of the Year Lawrence Roberts, and they are expected to at least win their division in the SEC yet again. However, the Bulldogs got off to a tough start this season, falling to Syracuse 71-58 Thursday night.
Unfortunately, rolling through their out of conference schedule has never been quite as easy as it should be for Tech. Under Ricky Stokes, the Hokies had a bad habit of coming out flat and getting upset. Taking a look at some of the teams to knock off the Hokies, and we see that Wofford, William & Mary, ODU, Murray St., Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Liberty, Chattanooga, East Tennessee St. and Radford have all beaten Tech since 1999, some more than once.
Some of those games were more painful than others. Just this past season, ODU came into Blacksburg and knocked off the Hokies. Tech had the game won, but the Monarchs managed to hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime. Bryant Matthews fouled out, and the youthful Hokies couldnít pull it out without him. That loss potentially cost Tech an NIT bid.
Another loss that sticks out came against Wofford on December 2, 2002. The Hokies were 3-1 on the year. They dropped their first game against St. Bonaventure that year, but rallied to beat Michigan, Toledo and American. It looked like the Hokies may have had something going, until the Terriers came to town. Wofford lit the Hokies up in the first half, taking a 43-26 lead into halftime. Tech tried to get back into the game in the 2nd half, but it was too late. Wofford held on for a 79-77 victory.
Later that season, the Hokies would go on to blow out Providence and Virginia, while crushing UConn by 21 points. However, the Hokies would finish 11-18, and Ricky Stokes would be out of a job.
Another accomplishment by the Hokies in out of conference play is losing to Liberty in Blacksburg in two consecutive seasons.
The first time came back in 1999 in Ricky Stokesí first season in Blacksburg. The Hokies looked to be in control at halftime, taking a 37-30 lead into the intermission. However, Liberty stormed back in the 2nd half and won the game by a single point, 62-61. The Hokies went on to finish 16-15 that season, 8-8 in A-10 play, but losses to Liberty, Radford and East Tennessee State cost Tech a possible chance to play in the NIT.
The next loss to Liberty came on November 28, 2000. Despite not hitting a single 3 pointer, and only shooting 37.8% from the field, Liberty managed to lead 28-19 at halftime. The Hokies tried to rally in the 2nd half, but fell short, losing 61-56. Despite the victory, Liberty never did hit a 3 point shot for the game, going 0-3. The Flames also shot a horrid 38% from the field, but Tech committed 20 turnovers and Liberty hit 23 free throws to Techís 4!
The Hokies look to change their history against out of conference opponents in the 2004-05 season. Tech had a young team last season, as only one player on the team was older than a sophomore, but Tech managed to go 7-4 out of conference and not lose to any teams the stature of Wofford. By the end of the season, when Seth Greenbergís team had grown up a bit, they likely would have beaten 3 of the 4 out of conference teams to whom they lost. Tech fell to ODU in overtime, Ohio St. by 5 and East Carolina by 7 in games that could have been won. So there is an air of confidence that the Hokies can get it done out of conference this season.
Looking at this seasonís schedule, Tech has a chance to be 7-0 heading into the North Carolina game on December 19. In this stretch, Techís toughest test will likely be St. Johnís on the road. Following the UNC game, Tech plays Western Michigan and Morgan State at home, and then plays Mississippi State in New Orleans. Tech has a very good shot to go 2-1 during this stretch. The final out of conference game for the Hokies is against Bethune Cookman on January 12. This game is sandwiched between two conference matchups against Florida State and Clemson, and it looks to be a sure win.
If everything goes like it should for Tech, meaning there are no upsets either way, the Hokies will finish their out of conference schedule 10-1. However, potential upsets include St. Johnís, Western Michigan and Chattanooga. Lose to any of these teams, and Techís hopes for an NIT bid take a major hit.
The Hokies open their season tonight against Loyola (Md.) in Blacksburg. Game time is 7:00, and it won't be televised.
Adelphia's Commonwealth Cup Contest -- VT/UVA football ticket giveaway!
Monday at 10 a.m. is the deadline for entering your name to win a pair of tickets to the VT/UVa football game.
Grand Prizes Ė 3 winners will win 2 tickets to the Virginia vs. Virginia Tech Game at Lane Stadium on Nov. 27th.
How to enter - fill out the online registration form below and hit submit. It's that easy. No purchase necessary.
One entry per person. A random grand drawing will held on or about November 23, 2004. For official rules and regulations, click here.
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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here.
|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Tech 55, Maryland 6
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 11/17/04 (MP3 Audio)
Keys to the Game: Maryland
Hotline Notes for 11/15/04
Title Race Coming Down the Home Stretch
Stadium West Side Expansion Pics
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