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Weekend Rooting Guide
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #422, March 5, 2010
The Hokies are on the bubble, and as of now it's the right side of the bubble. If the season ended today, Virginia Tech would be in the NCAA tournament. However, things can change quickly, and that may no longer be the case on Monday.
The bubble isn't particularly strong this year, and Tech would benefit from a lot of the other bubble teams losing out. Here's your unofficial weekend rooting guide.
Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech: This one goes without saying. If the Hokies beat GT, they'll go 10-6 in the ACC and pick up another top 50 win. They'll be safely in the field of 65 no matter what happens in the ACC tournament.
Seton Hall over Providence: Though Seton Hall is still on the bubble, Pirate victories will benefit the Hokies. If Seton Hall can sneak back into the top 50, it will give Tech another quality win.
Oregon State over Washington: This is a longshot, though the game is at least at Oregon State. A bad loss to the Beavers would likely knock the Huskies out of NCAA tournament consideration for good.
Arkansas over Ole Miss: The Rebels are hanging around thanks to being one of the better teams in a conference that doesn't have much depth. A road loss to the Razorbacks could put them in quite a bind heading into the SEC tournament.
Tennessee over Mississippi State: The Bulldogs still have work to do on their resume, and a victory over Tennessee could help them out quite a bit. A loss to the Vols would force Mississippi State into must-win territory in the SEC tournament.
UCLA over Arizona State: The PAC-10 bubble teams can't afford anymore bad losses. They are already on the wrong side of the bubble to begin with. A home loss to UCLA would seriously damage the NCAA tournament chances of the Sun Devils.
St. Louis over Dayton: The A-10 could possibly get five teams into the NCAA tournament. That would hurt the ACC's chances of getting seven teams into the field. If the Flyers lose at home to St. Louis, that could cripple their tournament hopes.
UTEP over UAB: UTEP is 14-1 in Conference USA, and they should be in the Big Dance whether or not they get an automatic bid. UAB however is on the bubble, and they aren't likely to get the benefit of the doubt thanks to their weak conference. However, a road win at UTEP would give them a much stronger case.
Tulsa over Memphis: Memphis is another team that is right on the cusp of making the field. A home loss to Tulsa would knock them down a notch or two.
Air Force over San Diego State: This is an extreme longshot, but if 7-19 Air Force can knock off San Diego State, the Aztecs will be pushed out of the field of 65. However, this would be a tremendous upset.
Massachusetts over Rhode Island: A road loss to UMass would likely knock Rhode Island out of the NCAA tournament, and they'd have to win a couple in the A-10 tournament to get back in the field. However, UMass is very bad, so this outcome isn't likely.
South Florida over UConn: This is a tough call because USF is a bubble team as well, but if they knock off UConn and the Huskies go 7-11 in the Big East, how can the Selection Committee justify putting Jim Calhoun's team in the Big Dance? They can't, at least not without a serious run in the Big East tournament.
Marquette over Notre Dame: A loss to a good team on the road probably wouldn't hurt the Irish that much, but they couldn't afford to follow it up with a loss in the first round of the Big East tournament. That would push them out of the field of 65.
That's a total of 13 games to keep an eye on over the weekend. Things won't go Virginia Tech's way in all of them, but you can bet on at least a few of those games listed above going in the Hokies' direction.
However, the biggest thing for Virginia Tech is taking care of business for themselves. If the Hokies defeat Georgia Tech, they'll finish the regular season 23-7, with a 10-6 record in the ACC. No 10-6 ACC team has ever been left out of the NCAA tournament. If VT wins on Saturday, they are a virtual lock to go dancing no matter their performance in the ACC tournament.
Tech Under Armour Hoodie: Price Cut!
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