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ACC Roundup: Hokies Go Huge

Very, very impressive win for Virginia Tech

NCAA Basketball: AFR Hall of Fame Tip-Off-Virginia Tech at Villanova
Nov 28, 2020; Uncasville, Connecticut, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Keve Aluma (22) shoots against Villanova Wildcats forward Jermaine Samuels (23) and forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) in the second half at Mohegan Sun Arena.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Quick question: which Virginia Tech win was more impressive, last year’s upset of #3 Michigan State or this year’s upset of #3 Villanova?

It’s a good question.

Last year though the Hokies were a bit of an unknown and lacked any semblance of an inside game so that win was really tremendous.

This year however, Virginia Tech agreed to play Villanova with just two days preparation and consider this too: Michigan State almost always starts the season slow. That’s not the case for the Wildcats.

Then again, this year the Hokies have some meaningful size with six guys 6-8 or better. Last year they were one of the smallest teams in the country and it caught up to them in the end.

What would tip the balance to us was the adversity that Virginia Tech overcame Saturday. They were down by 12. They came back. They were up two with 1.3 left to play. It went to overtime. And in overtime, they pulled away from one of the best coached teams in America and won by eight.

There’s a great scene in the movie Hell or High Water where Tanner Howard encounters a native American in a casino and has a tense exchange:

Bear: Do you know what Comanche means?

Tanner: No.

Bear: It means enemies forever.

Tanner: Enemies with who?

Bear: Everyone.

Tanner: Know what that makes me?

Bear: An enemy.

Tanner: No. It makes me a Comanche.

You know what that win makes Virginia Tech? A well coached team. But you knew that already.

By the way, we love Tyrece Radford, Tech’s 6-2 sophomore guard. He had 13 rebounds in this one.

Pitt beat Drexel 83-74 and not surprisingly, Jeff Capel was much happier after this game than he was after Pitt’s opener, a loss to St. Francis.

Pitt was pushed but never trailed. Xavier Johnson scored 27 and had eight assists to three turnovers - much better than the seven he racked up against St. Francis.

Interestingly, Capel went small, starting 6-8 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly at center. Terrell Brown did not play for the second straight game.

Notre Dame started well against Michigan State but the Spartans started to pull away in the first half and had a 26-0 run which is kind of unbelievable. Aaron Henry had a great all-round game for Tom Izzo with 14 points, eight boards, four blocks,three assists and maybe a partridge in a pear tree. That’s a nice game.

Brey’s bunch didn’t shoot or rebound well. It’s just a tough loss. Of course, Michigan State comes to Duke on Tuesday and will certainly be favored.

Three games on Sunday as North Florida visits Miami, Louisville should have a laugher with Prairie View A&M and Virginia Tech stays in the Mohegan bubble to play South Florida. That’s a risky game because the Hokies may have tired legs. But we’re sure they wouldn’t trade the win over Villanova for anything. And bonus: if they win Sunday, they’ll be ranked Monday. Or should be, anyway.