After its enormous victory over Duke Saturday, there was pretty much only one thing the Hokies had to do in order to not slip back onto the bubble: Lose by 15 on Senior Night Tuesday against Boston College in Cassell Coliseum.
Virginia Tech did exactly that against the Eagles and now find itself in a must-win game this weekend at Clemson. Odds are it's going to be a heartburn-inducing game down in South Carolina. All four of the Hokies' ACC regular season games at Littlejohn Coliseum have been decided by three points or fewer.
The Hokies find themselves in this spot because of another lackluster effort against Boston College this season. Tech shot poorly in its first game against the Eagles and repeated the performance Tuesday. The Hokies shot 42.9 percent from the floor, including 3-for-17 from behind the arc and were especially cold early on as BC built a big first-half lead.
The same things that have bitten the Hokies in almost all of their ACC losses. In addition to the poor three-point shooting, Tech had poor ballmovement with only six assists on 24 field goals and were out-battled on the offensive boards, pulling in only four of 26 available offensive rebounds.
Were the players tired? Probably. Like we said in the interview with BCI, the Hokies only had seven minutes from their bench only a couple of nights ago in an emotionally draining game against the nation's top-ranked team. They came out flat, were cold from the floor and dug a huge hole. Meanwhile, BC was hot from behind arc and Tech's big men combined for all of five rebounds. All in all, not a good effort.
Now the pressure is back on the Hokies with a big road trip looming. The last time the Hokies went to Clemson in early March with an NCAA Tournament bid on the line they choked down the stretch, watched Clemson win 70-69 and found themselves in the 2008 NIT. If we get a repeat of that game, the Hokies will absolutely have to win in the first round of the ACC tournament in order to secure an NCAA bid.
Nothing has ever come easy for this team and once again they've made things hard on themselves by laying an egg against Boston College. Just when we think they're in, they pull themselves back out. It's pretty much the opposite of The Godfather.
For the BC perspective, visit BC Interruption.
Next on Virginia Tech's basketball schedule: Noon EST Saturday at Clemson.