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Boston College 80, Virginia Tech 60: Are Hokies on the Brink of Another Collapse?

A week ago, things were looking pretty good for the Hokies. They were on a five-game winning streak and were in good shape to not only make the NCAA Tournament, but possibly sneak up to a No. 6 or 7 seed with a good run down the stretch. Two losses later, I have serious doubts that this team will make the field of 65.

Tech had a chance to punch their ticket to the Tournament with a road win against a Top 10 Duke team. Instead they were dominated in the paint and lost by 12. Wednesday the Hokies had a chance to right the ship against one of the worst teams in the ACC. What happened was a disaster against a team that has losses this season to St. Joseph's, Harvard, Rhode Island and Maine.

The Hokies were dominated in the paint on both ends of the court and never lead against Boston College in a deflating 20-point loss. Tech was out-rebounded by 21 and saw BC shoot 51 percent to its 31. But it wasn't just a case of facing a hot-shooting team. Tech allowed the Eagles to get in close.

Boston College made 18 of 25 dunks and layups (72 percent) and 12 of 32 jumpers and 3s (38 percent), according to SCACC Hoops. Meanwhile, the Hokies were bullied in the paint, making 8 of 27 dunks and layups (30 percent) and 11 of 34 jumpers and 3s (32 percent). The Hokies, who pride themselves on playing tough and physical on both ends of the court, were completely dominated by an inferior opponent both physically and in my opinion, mentally.

That's the second consecutive game that's happened, which is indicative of a team that isn't focused.

And it won't get any easier for this team. They play the second-best team in the league this Saturday, get a home game against the worst and then cap the season with a road game against a Georgia Tech team that is very strong inside and has a lot of talent.

If this team continues to play this way, they'll lose all three of those games, finish 8-8 in the conference and play their way right into the NIT again. What is most likely is they'll lose two of those three, be 9-7 in the conference and go into the conference tournament losing four of their last five and have work to do to get into the tournament.

And it's not unlike the Hokies to collapse down the stretch. Last year, they lost six of their last seven regular season games and played their way right out of the tournament. Two years ago, they needed a win over a name opponent to cement their place in the field and failed in heart-breakers to Clemson and North Carolina.