The Virginia Tech men's basketball schedule is now complete. Coming off a record-breaking season, (and there is nothing positive about that statement) the Hokies look to rebound from an abysmal 2013-14 campaign, and get the Buzz Williams era started off right. There is still a lot to be determined as to the look of the 2014-15 team, but for now we can wet your basketball appetite with a breakdown of the Hokies' schedule.
For those of you who have developed a voluntary case of amnesia in regards to the Hokies' performance down the stretch last season, let me remind you. Once the Calendar flipped to 2014 the results were L, L, L, L, L, L, L, L, L, L, W, L, L, L, L, L, L, L. The lone VT win in 2014 came Feb.15 against Miami. Who knew Cupid was a Hokie?
One win in 2014...that's the bad news. The good news is, things can only go up from here, and with the schedule VT faces for the rest of 2014, things should go way up. There is a very real possibility that Tech basketball won't lose another game this calendar year.
After starting the season with Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Hokies participate in the Cancun Challenge. They have home games against Liberty and Appalachian St., before heading to Mexico and playing Northern Iowa. Rest assured this will not be the same caliber UNI team that beat both UNLV and Kansas in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The next opponent in the Cancun Challenge is TBD. The Hokies will either be in the Third Place game or the Championship game, but in all likelihood, VT will play against Northwestern in the Championship.
A home game against Morgan State awaits the Hokies once they leave Cancun. The ACC elected to exclude Boston College from the ACC/Big Ten Challenge this year to avoid leaving the Hokies out two seasons in a row. Tech will participate when the Hokies travel to Penn State Dec. 3. After that, the Hokies have a gauntlet of Radford, Alabama A&M, The Citadel, VMI, and Presbyterian. If we drop any of those games, we are in for a long season.
If Virginia Tech makes it this far with an unblemished record, and again that's certainly possible, they'll put that mark on the line Dec. 30 in a 2 PM showdown in Morgantown with the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Even if the Hokies drop a game along the way, they should head into ACC play with a record in the neighborhood of 12-1 or at worst 11-2. That's a far cry from the 1-17 mark the Hokies have posted thus far in 2014, and regardless of who the opponents are at this point, fans just want to see some W's.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HAL1pUHUah8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Those W's will dry up quickly however, as ACC play starts off with a bang. If the Hokies are feeling good about themselves up to this point in the season, they have a chance to really pull off some magic in the ACC opener at home against Syracuse. Don't completely write off Tech's chances in this one. It's way too early for a game prediction, but don't forget that an undermanned and outcoached Hokies team scrapped with Syracuse for an entire half last season, and in the 2nd half it was a 4 point game, 44-40, with 14:44 to go. Coaching and depth took over at that point, but with an improved roster and a coaching upgrade (understatement of the year), Tech could be poised for an upset.
If the Hokies fall to Syracuse, they'll have to get over it quickly, because the next three games are @FSU, @Louisville, and @UNC. I don't blame the ACC for feeding Tech to the wolves, err...Cardinals, after last season, but this is ridiculous. 'Cuse, FSU, Loowaville, and UNC, the latter three on the road... Just how many people did Seth Greenberg piss off for us to still deserve this? Welcome to the new ACC. (Sidenote: Neither Louisville nor UNC make the return trip to Cassell this season.)
After that initial four game nightmare, Tech faces Notre Dame, UVA, and Pitt all at home. They travel to Wake Forest next, followed by what hopefully will be a revenge game for Syracuse when the Hokies head to upstate New York.
The rest of the schedule:
Duke (at least the ACC gave us that little gem)
I think this schedule is exactly what Virginia Tech needs this year. The fans are starving for wins, and early portion of the schedule is designed to provide just that. A good pre-ACC test in Morgantown is followed by, at the very least, an entertaining start to the ACC. Then the Hokies have their run-of-the-mill ACC stretch run to finish out the year. Hopefully during that span, the Hokies will show some fight.