The Virginia Tech Basketball team wins crucial OT game against NC State.
It looked for a while that the 1 hour and 47 minutes that Buzz Williams kept the Virginia Tech basketball team in the locker room after their blowout loss to #19 West Virginia was going to have zero effect on the NC state game Saturday. But it would turn out that “awhile” was just short enough to allow the Hokies to turn it on. The Hokies finished the first half down 10 and it looked like their transition into a disaster of a season was going to continue. I don’t know if William’s took a new approach during his half time speech, but the team would show new life in the second half. The Hokies tied the game to send it to overtime, where they would win their first ACC game of the year, 73-68.
How big was this win? Probably their biggest of the year. I don’t care if they upset a top 10 ACC opponent later on this season, this Virginia Tech Basketball team needed some glimmer of hope and they got more than just a little bit on Saturday. Here’s why: They responded beautifully to being down 10 at half. After being blown out two games in a row to good teams, it was going to be crucial that the Hokies could compete with an average ACC team. When it looked like they wouldn’t, it would have been very easy for the players to think, “here we go again” and lose faith in themselves. Their ability to win in overtime was also very promising. They’d lost a heartbreaker to Northwestern in overtime earlier this season, so it was great to see that they weren’t going to let that affect how they handled overtime in the future.
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The importance of this win however is the implications it’s going to have on the entire season. Beginning conference play is a turning point in the year for every basketball team. The likelihood of Virginia Tech having a “successful” season in my eyes grew drastically after this win. In terms of finishing the season with a winning record, it was imperative, but more than that, it was a great response to a really brutal couple of games.
Individually, Seth Allen has continued to look like the Hokies best player. He put up 23 and played for 39 of the 45 minutes. Justin Bibbs was a disappointment, only making two free throws, but going 0-5 from the field. For his 30 minutes of play, he wasn’t much of a factor.
The Hokies take on #4 Virginia this evening… woof. I don’t have high expectations for a win. Actually, I’m just going to say it, the Hokies won’t win this game, but that doesn’t mean this game can’t be a good opportunity for the Hokies to make strides in continuing their momentum. The line is 12.5 to the Wahoos, so if the Hokies can keep it within six or seven I would call it a very successful day. Even if they don’t, I’m interested to see how Zach LeDay and Shane Henry handle the Cavaliers’ Anthony Gill in the middle after his start performance against Notre Dame.
Tip off is 9:00 PM ET tonight.