Why the NCAA Tournament committee seeded Virginia Tech correctly despite Elizabeth Kitley's injury

The committee got it correct by seeding the Hokies' No. 4 and allowing them to host the first and second rounds this weekend.

Miami v Virginia Tech
Miami v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

After a long week of speculation, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket was released and Virginia Tech got the news they were hoping for. They were a Top 16 seed and will host the first and second rounds of the tournament this weekend. The big question was whether or not, the Hokies would be home at Cassell Coliseum or on the road due to Elizabeth Kitley’s injury.

In the end, the tournament committee got it right. Virginia Tech was unlikely to drop below the Top 16 as some projections had them in danger of doing so. There were a lot of nervous moments, however, as the brackets were being released and the first two Albany Regions were announced and there was no Virginia Tech, it got a little scary.

When they got to the Portland 3 Regional, the Hokies saw their name pop up as the No. 4 seed and they were able to breathe easily knowing they were getting to begin the tournament in Blacksburg. In the end, they are playing where they deserve to play.

Virginia Tech begins at home

The Hokies will open on Friday at 3:30 against Sun Belt champion and No. 13 Marshall, while the No. 5 seed Baylor will play the winner of Wednesday’s game between Vanderbilt and Columbia on Friday night at 6.

Leading into the tournament bracket release, Charlie Creme of ESPN said that the committee could consider Kitley’s injury and if she was out, that it might affect their seed, but it didn’t. Following the release of the brackets, Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said that Kitley’s status is still up in the air and they will see how this week goes.

Virginia Tech’s work during the regular season was more than good enough that they should be home for the first weekend and despite Kitley’s injury, the job they did with Top 25 road wins in the ACC alone was strong enough to make their case to host.

Whether or not Kitley plays remains to be seen, but with the brackets released, the committee got it right by seeding the Hokies in the Top 16 and allowing them to host. It sends the message that the regular season does matter in one of the top, if not the top, conferences in women’s basketball in the country. 

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