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|Welcome to TSLMail #201 - Friday, November 11, 2005||
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For the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team to make postseason play for the second consecutive season, it is important that they get off to a great start in out-of-conference play. They have an opportunity to do just that, with six very winnable home games to start the season. They got off on the right foot Thursday night, defeating Radford 80-50.
Good starts have been hard to come by for the basketball team in recent years. Even last year’s team, who knocked off teams like Duke, Georgia Tech and Maryland, lost a game in the early part of the season to VMI. Previous Tech teams have dropped games to opponents such as Radford, William & Mary and Liberty. Each year their schedule indicates that they have a chance to get off to a great start, but each year they drop at least one game that they shouldn’t.
Since the key to Virginia Tech’s season is starting 6-0, let’s take a look at how Tech teams from the recent past have fared in their first six games.
As you can see, there were a lot of 4-2 starts, and on paper that is a good record, but when you consider the type of teams that generally fill the out-of-conference portion of Tech’s schedule, it is not.
The last Virginia Tech teams that began their seasons strong where the teams coached by Bill Foster in the mid 1990s. For three consecutive seasons, Foster’s teams started the season 5-1. Those starts were crucial to the final record of each of those teams.
In 1993-94, the Hokies were blown out at Xavier in the fifth game of the season, but that was the only blemish in a 10-1 start to an 18-10 season that saw the Hokies get left out of the NCAA and NIT tournaments. The Hokies were 13-2 through their first 15 games that season, but promptly lost six in a row from the end of January to the middle of February. They then rallied to win four of their last five regular season games, as well as a Metro Conference tournament game, but were still left out of postseason play.
The 1994-95 team started the season 5-1 with their only loss coming to Illinois in the Puerto Rico Shootout. That team started out 10-1 as well, finished 6-5 in the Metro Conference, got left out of the NCAA Tournament and went on to win the NIT. With four juniors and a sophomore starting that season, things looked bright for the next year.
The 1995-96 team started 5-1 as well, with their only loss coming to the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta. That Tech team was 19-2 at one point during the season and went into the NCAA Tournament 22-5 overall. The Hokies defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky in the second round.
The 1982-83 team was the last Virginia Tech team to start the season 6-0. The schedule that season was very similar to the Hokies’ schedule this season. Five of the first six games of that season were in Blacksburg, with the only road contest during that stretch in Lynchburg, VA against Liberty. The team then departed for Hawaii, where they competed in the Rainbow Classic. Then they returned to Blacksburg for a five game home stand. You can’t ask for a better schedule than that; the Hokies went 14-1 during that stretch.
Last season Virginia Tech blew any chance they had at an NCAA Tournament bid when they lost out-of-conference games to inferior teams in VMI and St. John’s. This year the Hokies need to take care of business against the lesser teams if they want to find themselves dancing in March.
Jeffrey Stout. Jeff (who won at Level 1) won a $50 gift certificate to Kroger, just for playing the Kroger "Pro Challenge" football game on our web site.
You can play Kroger's "Pro Challenge" football game for a chance to win $1,000.
Once you're at the Pro level, you can play and enter a sweepstakes drawing. First prize is $1,000 cash! Second prize is $250 cash! All Pro contestants have the same chance to win the cash prizes.
For playing at ANY level, you can enter a random drawing for a $50 gift card, with one card given away each week.
Get one of the ten highest scores, and you'll be given the chance to enter your initials, which are displayed at the beginning of every game.
How to play:
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