After five seasons under Dennis Wolff, Kenny Brooks stepped in as Head Coach for the 2016-17 season. Immediately Brooks led the Hokies to its first 20 win season in over a decade. Tech continued to produce 20-win seasons while improving their ACC record but failing to make the NCAA Tournament. Last year VT went 21-9 and 11-7 in the ACC and looked likely to finally reach the tournament before it was called off due to COVID-19.
This season the Hokies went 14-9 overall and 8-8 in the ACC, finishing 7th, but were one of the few programs not to have a halt in operations due to COVID. After dropping a close 2-point game on the road against #2 NC State earlier in the season, the Hokies beat one of this season’s top programs by 12 points in the return game, followed by a win over UNC. A sign of their competitiveness and potential this post-season.
The continual upward trajectory of the program earned their first NCAA Tournament bid since the 2005-06 season. While Tech has only made the tournament nine times, they’ve advanced past the first round in seven of those seasons. As the 7-seed in the River Walk Region they will take on 10-seed Marquette in one of the opening games Sunday. Here’s a rundown of what to know ahead of the game.
Sunday, March 21st, 2021
Match-up: Virginia Tech (14-9) vs. Marquette (19-6)
Venue: Strahan Coliseum (San Marcos, Texas). Home to the Texas State University basketball teams.
Time: 12:00 pm ET
TV: ESPNU / Watch ESPN App
Live stats: HokieSports
All-time series: This will be the first meeting between the Hokies and the Golden Eagles.
The play in the ACC https://t.co/4qUmM85lRY— Virginia Tech Women's Basketball (@HokiesWBB) March 16, 2021
Scoring: Kitley (VT - 18.5) vs. Lott (Marquette - 14.6)
Rebounds: Kitley (VT - 10.7) vs. Taylor (Marquette- 7.1)
Assists: Amoore (VT - 4.6) vs. Lott (Marquette- 5.1)
Marquette finished second in the Big East this season with a few select games called off due to COVID. They enter the tournament in form, having won seven of their last nine and both losses coming against #1-seed and Big East winners UConn.
This is Marquette’s fourth straight year in the NCAA Tournament and can go at least nine to ten players deep. Their star trio (Lott, Van Kleunen, & Taylor) is averaging double-digit points and over five rebounds a game.
So much like Friday’s men’s match up you can toss those seeds out the window and expect a competitive game between the ACC and Big East. The winner will face the winner of Baylor (2-seed) & Jackson State (15-seed), which can be seen on Sunday (3/21) at 4pm ET on ABC.
Virginia Tech - 71
Marquette - 65