The ACC was down in 2021-22. This season, the league was trash, and only three teams truly deserved an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.
Does anyone remember some of these wild narratives being tossed around over the past few months?
Now, the ACC is standing tall once again, with two programs — Duke and North Carolina — in the Final Four. The league is guaranteed of having a representative in the NCAA Championship as Duke and UNC square off Saturday, with the winner facing Kansas or Villanova.
Seeing Duke and UNC in the Final Four is not fun for Virginia Tech fans. However, as an ACC fan, it’s terrific for the league and every school in the conference. The top high school players want to play in the best league. You can argue about the Big Ten all you want; the ACC remains the king of the hoops world. And not all of the top high school stars can play for Duke or UNC.
What about the team that defeated both North Carolina and Duke by double digits on consecutive nights just two weeks ago? While no one outside of Blacksburg remembers the ACC Tournament right now, it’s an excellent selling point for head coach Mike Young and his program.
Young can tell recruits, “you want to play — and beat — the best teams, come to Virginia Tech.” The basketball program is no longer a bottom-feeder. And what if you can’t land a top-25 player out of high school, Young can sell to the top players in the transfer portal on why coming to Virginia Tech would be the right decision. Keve Aluma, Justyn Mutts and Storm Murphy all transferred to Virginia Tech. All three were pivotal to the Tech’s success this season, particularly in the ACC Tournament.
While Duke and North Carolina battle for a chance to win another national championship, these next few weeks are pivotal for the Virginia Tech Hokies. We will know a lot about the Hokies’ roster at this time next month, which will go a long way in determining how high Young’s team should be ranked entering 2022-23.
While Tech’s season ended disappointingly in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the basketball program is headed in the right direction and will be a factor for years to come. No Virginia Tech fan will forget the ACC Tournament. That’s the potential of Mike Young’s Hokies.