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  TSLMail #371- March 6, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

Imbalanced Scheduling Creates Tough Job for Selection Committee
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Lost with ACC expansion was the conference's round-robin play during the regular season. Every team played every other team twice. Everyone had the same schedule, every year, and there could be no argument for scheduling imbalance. Since expansion, that's not the case.

Now, ACC teams will play some conference opponents twice, and others just once. That leads to an imbalance in schedule strength. Quite significant imbalances, in some instances.

Here is a list of the nine ACC teams that are competing for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. The table compares the average RPI rating of their ACC opponents.

Opponents' RPI
Top 9 ACC Teams
Team Ave. Opp. RPI

VT

48.13

Duke

49.06

Miami

50.56

FSU

53.75

Maryland

55.81

Wake Forest

58.81

UNC

59.13

Boston College

59.75

Clemson

60.5

 

Using strictly the RPI formula, and without taking into account home games or road games, Virginia Tech had the toughest ACC schedule of any of the NCAA tournament teams, or NCAA tournament bubble teams.

In fact, it's quite a big difference when compared to the teams at the bottom of the list. Boston College is another bubble team, and their opponents' average RPI is more than 10 spots worse than Tech's opponents' RPI.

Let's dig a bit deeper and compare the conference schedules for BC and the Hokies.

Schedule Comparison, BC vs. VT
Opp. RPI Rank Games vs. VT Games vs. BC

Duke

2 2 1

UNC

3 1 1

Wake Forest

14 1 2

Florida State

17 2 1

Clemson

18 2 1

Miami

52 1 2

Maryland

56 1 1

Virginia Tech/BC

63/56 2 2

NC State

97 1 2

Virginia

108 2 1

Georgia Tech

150 1 2

 

Virginia Tech played three of the top five teams in the conference twice each this year. The only top 5 team that BC played more than once was Wake Forest. The Hokies had to take on Duke and Clemson twice, and they'll play Florida State for the second time on Sunday.

Scroll down to the bottom of the conference standings, and you'll see that BC played two of the bottom three teams in the conference twice, with two meetings against both NC State and Georgia Tech. The Hokies played the Wolfpack and Yellow Jackets just once each.

Tech is in a direct competition with Boston College for an at-large berth, and the schedules in ACC play obviously haven't been equal. However, the Eagles have their own argument as well. They had just one meeting each with UNC and Duke, and they won both of them. They even knocked off UNC in the Dean Dome. The Eagles also beat Florida State in a recent game. In their six games against the Top 5 teams in the ACC, BC is 3-3. That's a good mark.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has played seven games against the Top 5 teams in the conference. In those seven games, the Hokies have a record of just 2-5. Playing one more game, Tech has one fewer win that Boston College. However, they'll get a chance to go 3-5 against the Top 5 when they take on Florida State on Sunday.

Let's compare BC's overall resume with Tech's.

Resume Comparison
Category BC VT

Overall

20-10 17-12

Conf.

8-7 7-8

RPI

54 63

SOS

51 30

vs. Top 50

4-4 2-7

Last 12

7-5 5-7

The Hokies have played the tougher schedule, but BC has the better record, a better RPI, a better record against the Top 50 and they've been better in their last 12 games. Tech is hurt by the fact that BC and Miami were both upset this past week. That knocked the Eagles and 'Canes out of the Top 50, giving the Hokies two fewer Top 50 wins. However, the Selection Committee would still view Tech's win over BC as a quality win since the Eagles are still on the bubble.

Ultimately, the Hokies still control their own fate. If they beat Florida State on Sunday, and then win a game in the ACC tournament, they would be a near lock to make the NCAA tournament. If they beat Florida State and then lose in the ACC tournament, they'll be sweating on Selection Sunday. A loss to the 'Noles this weekend would put them in the NIT, barring a number of upsets in the ACC Tournament.

 

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week
Hokies Primed for Success in 2010 Recruiting
March 6, 2009
Virginia Tech just wrapped up their 2009 recruiting class about a month ago, but it's never too early to talk about the upcoming class. The Hokies already have a commitment from one of the top players in the state in the 2010 class, and they have an excellent chance of landing several others.
more

VT "Prospect Day" a Success
March 6, 2009
Although there were no immediate commitments, Virginia Tech's "Prospect Day" appears to have been a success. Tech hosted a number of top rising senior prospects and even a few top rising juniors, including Hermitage (Richmond, VA) LB Curtis Grant and South County (Lorton, VA) S/WR Ronnie Van Dyke. There is no question that the primary focus, though, was on a talented group of 2010 class visitors.
more

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at #24 Florida State
March 6, 2009
Virginia Tech's entire basketball season is down to one game. If the Hokies don't beat Florida State on Sunday, barring a miracle run in the ACC Tournament, they will not make the NCAA tournament field of 65 teams. FSU beat Tech 67-65 in Blacksburg two weeks ago, and this will be Senior Day for star guard Toney Douglas.
more

Laiti on the Recruiting Trail
March 5, 2009
Robinson (Fairfax, VA) linebacker Brian Laiti, one of the most productive defensive players in the state last season, is busy making recruiting visits this winter and plans to make more this spring. Whether or not he'll make a commitment prior to his senior season is unclear, though, as his main focus is helping the Rams to a big year in 2009.
more

Southern WR/RB One of NC's Top Juniors
March 5, 2009
It didn't take long for Southern (Durham, N.C.) star Tony Creecy, Jr. to make a name for himself on the varsity football level. Creecy hauled in 24 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns for the varsity squad in 2006, which was his freshman year. The 5-11, 195-pound wide receiver/running back improved upon those numbers in each of the next two seasons and now finds himself as one of the most highly recruited juniors in the state of North Carolina.
more

Thoughts From the UNC Game
March 5, 2009
Sitting in Cassell Coliseum last night and watching the Hokies drop another close game put a few thoughts into my head. Some are specific to last night's game, while others seem to be developing trends. Finally, though I'd prefer to stay away from the issue of fan support when the Hokies play UNC in Cassell, I just can't.
more

South County Sophomore has VT Offer
March 5, 2009
South County (Lorton, VA) will have more than one sure-fire Division 1A prospect on its roster in the 2009 season. One is a rising senior, while the other a rising junior. At this point, Virginia Tech has only offered the latter. Safety/wide receiver Ronnie Van Dyke is not allowed to receive official offers until the beginning of his junior year, but the Hokies recently became the first program to verbally offer the versatile standout.
more

Hokies Hang Tough, but Fall to #2 UNC
March 5, 2009
For the second game in a row, Virginia Tech trailed at halftime only to come back and tie the game in the second half. For the second game in a row, they came up short in the end. This time it came against #2 UNC 86-78, and the loss makes this Sunday's game at Florida State a must-win if the Hokies want to make the NCAA tournament. Tech fell to 17-12 overall and 7-8 in the ACC with the loss.
more

Southern CB Impressed with Tech
March 4, 2009
5-11, 170-pound A.J. Marshall, a standout cornerback recruit out of Southern High School (Durham, N.C.), has followed Virginia Tech's football program since his freshman year in high school. He especially noticed the play of the Virginia Tech secondary.
more

Basketball Game Preview: #2 UNC at Virginia Tech
March 4, 2009
The Hokies will face their biggest challenge of the year on Wednesday when #2 North Carolina invades Cassell Coliseum. The Tar Heels are the most talented team in the ACC, and they are competing for the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Led by Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, the Heels are an offensive juggernaut, and the Hokies will have to keep the game low-scoring to have a chance.
more

Farris Awaits First Offer
March 4, 2009
Rockbridge County (Lexington, VA) junior offensive lineman Caleb Farris attended Virginia Tech's prospect day last Saturday and he had an opportunity to speak with head coach Frank Beamer. The 6-4 1/2, 300-pound junior, who graded out at 92-percent as an offensive tackle last season as a junior, has yet to pick up a Division 1A offer but continues to draw interest from a number of Division 1A programs, including Virginia Tech.
more

Hokie Hotline Notes for 3/2/09
March 3, 2009
On Monday night's Hokie Hotline, Coach Greenberg discussed the recent games against Clemson and Duke. He also discussed the progress of VT signees Erick Green and Cadarian Raines, and gave some information on next season's out-of-conference schedule.
more

Acree Firm in his Commitment to VT
March 3, 2009
6-6, 310-pound defensive tackle Nick Acree, who has been committed to Virginia Tech since last spring, has indicated throughout that he would take all five official visits despite being solid in his decision. Yesterday, the state of Virginia star revealed what is very good news as far as Virginia Tech is concerned.
more

Around the ACC: March 2, 2009
March 2, 2009
Things are starting to clear up in the ACC. Five teams are locks for the NCAA tournament, one more is very close to being a lock, and three others are fighting for their postseason lives. March Madness is here, and teams are leaving everything on the court.
more

Deep Run OL Discusses VT Junior Day
March 2, 2009
Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) offensive tackle Conner Davis, one of the top offensive line recruits in the state of Virginia, attended Virginia Tech's junior day on Saturday. The 6-5, 255-pound junior discussed the trip, which comes two weeks after he attended a junior day at the University of Virginia.
more

Henderson Comes Away Impressed by VT
March 2, 2009
About a week after scoring an offer from Virginia Tech, Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.) quarterback Gabe Henderson was in Blacksburg to take a closer look at the Tech program. The 6-1, 190-pound junior signal caller came away impressed by the Saturday junior day experience but was even more excited about Virginia Tech's quarterback situation.
more

Hokies Struggle on O Against Duke
March 2, 2009
I was intrigued by the fact that a lot of the commentary on Duke's victory over VT centered upon Virginia Tech's defensive failures. Tech coach Seth Greenberg, columnist Aaron McFarling of the Roanoke Times, and TV analyst Jimmy Dykes spent a lot of time talking about how the Hokies failed to execute their scouting reports and contain Duke's Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler. I would counter that Tech's difficulties on offense were far more responsible for the defeat than defensive lapses.
more
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