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2010-11 Virginia Tech Basketball: Getting to Know USC Upstate

Virginia Tech returns to the court Thursday against the USC Upstate Spartans after a week off for Christmas. The game, which is also Tech's first at home since Dec. 12, is the first between the two schools.

So who exactly is USC Upstate? Prior to the 2004-05 school year it was known as USC Spartanburg. It's in Spartanburg, SC, the same city private Wofford College is located. With Furman in the sister city of Greenville and Clemson and Presbyterian (Clinton, SC) also close by, there are five (Six with Winthrop, according to Orange Britches below) schools playing D1 basketball in the Upstate area of South Carolina.

USC Upstate began D1 play in 2007-08 as a provisional member of the Atlantic Sun conference. The Spartans are still reclassifying to D1 and are not eligible for postseason play, but will be beginning next season.

The University

What's campus like at USC Upstate? Here's a good-looking blonde to tell you.

Say what you want, those dorms are a helluva lot nicer than the ones I lived in. But what can you do with your life after you graduate from Upstate? Presented, without comment, is Darrell:

The Basketball Team

As for the USC Upstate athletes that are making the trip to Blacksburg Thursday, they're led by freshman forward Torrey Craig, who averages 11.6 points per game. Craig also leads the team in rebounding with 6.7 per game.

The Spartans are 2-9 with back-to-back home wins over UNC Asheville and East Tennessee State. They've faced a pair of ACC teams already this year, losing to Virginia and NC State. The Spartans were tied with the Hoos with 14:20 to play, but were outscored 32-12 down the stretch.

This really shouldn't be much of a game. The only way I can see Upstate competing with the Hokies is if they try to make this a really fast-paced game. Tech only has eight players on scholarship and Upstate has nine players who average over 14 minutes per game. However, even that strategy might not work after the Hokies proved against Mississippi State that they're better conditioned than most of the teams they'll play this year.