Virginia Tech came into the game with 10 ACC wins, and had they won today, they would have set a school record for most conference wins in a season. Unfortunately, that did not happen against a Wake Forest side that played with their own desperation, as they most likely vaulted themselves over the bubble and into the NCAA tournament field.
The Hokies raced off to a fast start at home, leading 16-9 at the first media timeout, as the game was played at a blistering pace. Virginia Tech went into the half in the midst of a shootout, but led 47-42. Wake Forest star John Collins went into the half with three fouls and zero points to his name.
In the second half, Collins proved to be a game changer. He dropped 13 in the period on 5-6 shooting. But Bryant Crawford proved to be the finisher. He ended the game with 26 points, including a backbreaker step-back trey after outstanding defense by Ahmed Hill. Crawford also shot 13-14 from the charity stripe.
Virginia Tech had a chance to take a late lead on a Justin Robinson three, but he missed the attempt. The hot shooting Hokies cooled off significantly, making just 8 of their 26 three point attempts. They had been hitting over 59% of their deep looks over the last four games. In the end, the Hokies failed to get stops defensively and could not make the perimeter shots to compensate.
The two seniors who have played a major part of the rebuild in Blacksburg, Seth Allen and Zach LeDay, were the leading scorers for Virginia Tech. LeDay led the Hokies with 24 points and 10 boards, while Allen chipped in with 20 points of his own.
The Hokies had an opportunity to enter the ACC tournament with the 5th seed, but this loss entrenches them as the 7th seed. They will play the winner of Boston College and Wake Forest in the second round.