The start of the 2023-24 men’s basketball season for the Virginia Tech men has already had its ups and downs nine games into the season. At home in the friendly confines of Cassell Coliseum, the Hokies are 4-0, but away from Blacksburg, they are 2-3.
Monday, the first NET rankings for this season were released and Mike Young’s team is not where they would like it early in the season.
Virginia Tech NET ranking needs improvement
Virginia Tech was ranked 74th in the first NET rankings released on Monday. What is the NET rating you might ask? It’s the “new RPI” and a determiner in which teams make the NCAA Tournament field at the end of the season. The highest-ranked ACC team is undefeated Clemson at No. 18 and Virginia is next at No. 27.
If there is any good news from the rankings, it’s that all three teams that have beaten Virginia Tech so far this season are ranked ahead of them. Florida Atlantic, which rolled over Virginia Tech, 84-50, in the championship game of the ESPN Events invitational in late November, and South Carolina, who beat the Hokies, 79-76, on Nov. 10 in Charlotte is No. 29. Auburn, who beat the Hokies, 74-57, in the ACC/SEC Challenge on Nov. 29 in Virginia Tech’s first true road game of the season, is ranked No. 33.
In more good news, Iowa State, which Tech beat 71-62 in the semifinals in Orlando last month is ranked No. 13. If Tech is a bubble team in March, that is going to be a very good win on their resume.
Virginia Tech is going to need to improve their ranking this season, but that may not come until ACC play kicks into full gear in January. The Hokies return to the court on Saturday against Valparaiso at home, then will host Vermont a week later. The Hokies opened ACC play with a 75-68 win over Louisville Sunday at home.