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(Photo by Rob Samuels - Double G Media)

(Photo by Rob Samuels – Double G Media)

ACC Tournament, Day 2 Evening Session Round-Up: Wake Forest’s Bubble Prospects And Could Virginia Be A Dark Horse In The NCAA Tournament?

Day 2 of any conference tournament is when you begin to see bigger name teams start their journey through the sprint that is Championship Week. The ACC Tournament was no exception on Wednesday as the evening session featured Virginia Tech and Virginia in their first games at the 2017 ACC Tournament at the Barclays Center.

As with the day session there were major stories from the evening games, including a team fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives. Before we get to that, here are the scores from Day 2’s evening session games.

Virginia Tech 99, Wake Forest 90

Virginia 75, Pittsburgh 63

Wake Forest’s Bubble Hopes

Going into their game against Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, Wake Forest stood at 19-12 with a 9-9 record in conference play. The myth among many is that 20 wins will get you a NCAA Tournament berth but that is not an exact science. After defeating lowly Boston College on Tuesday, the Demon Deacons needed to do more in order to feel better about their NCAA Tournament hopes.

Wake Forest took on the Virginia Tech Hokies, a team that was already a lock for the NCAA Tournament. With a 21-9 record and a RPI of 44, a Wake Forest win would almost guarantee a NCAA bid for the Demon Deacons. After a ridiculous full-court, one-armed heave from Greg McClinton to end the first half, it seemed that the basketball gods Wake Forest’s were in their favor. However Wake Forest found themselves on the losing end of a 99-90 loss to Virginia Tech in Brooklyn.

At 19-13 and .500 in an ACC that many are calling the best conference in America, Wake Forest may very well back their way into the NCAA Tournament. With an RPI in the 30’s and a Strength of Schedule at 20, the Demon Deacons should be in the tournament. A win over Virginia Tech however would have helped coach Danny Manning and his squad sleep a little better heading into Selection Sunday.

“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to be around this game for a very long time,” said Manning concerning his team’s tournament chances. “Sometimes it’s not very logical. So we’re going to sit back and wait. That’s our reality right now.”

Virginia: A Possible Final Four Team?

The Virginia Cavaliers may be one of the more boring teams to watch in college basketball. A lot of half-court sets and tough defense makes their style something that fans may not want to watch. Even though they have a style of play that isn’t entertaining, they have been successful in that system. Since Tony Bennett was hired as coach in 2009, the Cavaliers are 186-81 and 88-50 in ACC play.

Their style of play is perfect in the NCAA Tournament when the majority of games slow down and turn into half-court battles. Two years ago Virginia got to the Elite Eight but this year, Virginia is a team that could go deep in the NCAA Tournament. Holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field is a way to advance through the brackets during March Madness and Virginia does that pretty much yearly. The Cavaliers could be that team that sneaks through the tournament that no one expected.

Random Thoughts

  • I am still not completely sold on the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn, this year or next, but there were some great crowds at the Barclays Center on Day 2. According to a longtime ACC reporter, you will see bigger, more boisterous crowds the deeper the tournament goes. Brooklyn saw energetic crowds in all four games so while I’m still on the fence about the ACC in New York, I liked what I saw on Wednesday.
  • Buzz Williams is a coach that I wish I could cover every season at Virginia Tech. Full of energy and five minutes into a game, his sport coat comes off. Great coach too.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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