You can't go on the road, score 18 second-half points and turn the ball over 18 times and expect to win. On top of that, the Hokies never bothered to guard Brian Oliver, who scored 28 points off the bench for Georgia Tech in its 15-point win over Virginia Tech Tuesday in Atlanta.
The loss ended the Hokies' streak of nine wins in 10 games and Erick Green's streak of double-digit games also came to a halt. Green had nine points just a little over seven minutes into the game and never got his 10th point. Meanwhile, his backcourt mate, Malcolm Delaney, managed as many turnovers as he had points with eight apiece.
The two combined to shoot 6-for-26 from the floor.
After shooting over 50 percent in the first half, the Hokies shot an atrocious 24 percent in the second half in a complete collapse on the road. It's the kind of game the Hokies were due for. Road wins don't come cheap in any power conference and if you don't play well for the whole game, you're not going to escape with a win unless you're an elite team.
The Hokies are far from elite and don't have the depth to play as well as they had over the last 10 games for a full season. Unfortunately, like the game in Chestnut Hill last year, the Hokies chose the wrong team to lay an egg against. Georgia Tech plays well at home, but are just as inconsistent as Virginia Tech and have enough head scratching losses that they will be nothing but an albatross for the Hokies' NCAA Tournament resume.
Ah yes, the NCAA Tournament. Just when bracketologists started penciling the Hokies into their brackets, Tech answers with a performance like the one we just saw in Atlanta. The Hokies just can stand to have things going their way it seems and they certainly can't afford another loss like the one against the Jackets if they expect to make the tournament.
The problem is a down ACC will give them many more chances to give the selection committee a reason to leave them out of the tournament than it will reasons to put them in. Basically, they have Duke left as a game the Hokies could potentially point to and declare that they're worthy of a spot in the bracket.
The Georgia Tech loss, which looks a lot worse than it actually was because Tech managed to score just two points in the last six minutes of the game, isn't a death knell for Virginia Tech's tournament chances, but it removes any margin for error their recent run of excellent play had afforded them. Lose another one like the one Tuesday and it's over. Get back on the horse and finish strong and they'll make the field.
If the Hokies can take anything good from Tuesday's game, it's the improved play of Jeff Allen, who led the team in points and rebounds with 18 and 11. He's finally playing some good basketball, but did manage to Jeff Allen late in the game by picking up cheap fouls, including a technical.
Like I said, the Hokies just can't seem to feel comfortable when things are going their way. Have a great game and ruin it with a technical. Play well for 10 consecutive games and lose big to Georgia Tech. Can't win for losing.
Next on Virginia Tech's basketball schedule: 5:30 p.m. Sunday vs. Miami in Blacksburg.
From the Rumble Seat has the Georgia Tech point of view on the game.