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Hokies fall to 17/18th in latest NCAA polls

Going 1-1 over the past week sees Tech remain in the chase for a tournament bid.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Miami-Florida Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Since last week’s rankings were released the Hokies had a disappointing night defensively against Pittsburgh, before bouncing back in a thrilling overtime victory over Miami. Those mixed results saw Virginia Tech move down slightly in the week 12 AP and Coaches polls. The Hokies are 18th in the latest AP poll and 17th in the Coaches poll. VT is one of three ACC schools ranked, along with UVA (9/9) and Florida State (17/19).

The Hokies were supposed to take on the 10-3 Florida State program Tuesday night before the game was called off following another positive COVID result at FSU. As such the Hokies have a full week off between games — and potentially more. Up next would now be a home contest against Louisville on Saturday afternoon. However, the Cardinals announced on Sunday that their upcoming game versus Pittsburgh was now postponed because their head coach Chris Mack tested positive for COVID-19.

Will that impact Tech’s game against Louisville in four days? There have been no announcements made yet, and if the rest of the program tests negative ahead of traveling to Blacksburg they can likely proceed without their head coach. If not, the Hokies will have a 10-day gap in games before they travel to Chapel-Hill on 2/16 to take on the Tar Heels.

In the latest edition of ESPN’s Bracketology, they have Virginia Tech as a #6 seed in the first Region. That’s a secure place as we head down the final stretch of the season. The size of this year’s tournament hasn’t been confirmed yet, but ESPN projects the Hokies are still in a 48-team version of the post-season, but one of the eight schools on the wrong side of the bubble if the tournament was reduced to just 16 teams.

Tech is currently in 3rd place in the ACC standings with an 8-3 record, just one and a half games behind leaders Virginia. Based on the schedule it is unlikely that any past postponed games will be made up, leaving Tech with just six regular-season contests left. Home games against Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest, plus three away trips to UNC, Florida State, and NC State.

Last season the Hokies finished ACC play with a 7-13 record. Mike Young has already surpassed that conference win total this year, but with less than two months to go, the Hokies aren’t just looking for an improved season but an NCAA Tournament place and challenging for the ACC Title.