Despite winning 23 games last year, Virginia Tech was again not invited to the NCAA Dance. Why? Simple…when your non-conference schedule is ranked 339th out of 347 teams, you didn’t exactly earn a spot.
This year, coach Seth Greenberg is trying not to make that same mistake gain.
VIRGINIA TECH’S 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
Tech’s marquee match up comes early on the road against Kansas State. The Wildcats return three of five starters from an Elite-Eight squad. After that, they’ll head to Greensboro to face an always-tough UNC Greensboro, before heading west to play in the 76 Classic.
The Hokies will open up against Cal. State Northridge. If they win (which they should), they’ll take on the winner of the DePaul/Oklahoma State game. If they’re looking for the toughest match up, they’ll want the Cowboys, who’s RPI last year was #32.
Oddly enough, after opening the season at home against Campbell, Virginia Tech will go 18 days without a home game. When they do get back to Blacksburg, they’ll have Purdue waiting for them for the Big 10/ACC challenge.
The Boilermakers are a pre-season national title contender. If all goes according to plan, Purdue could be the second top-10 team (Kansas State being the other) the Hokies will face early in the season.
They do have some cupcakes remaining in non-conference play (USC Upstate, Mt. St. Mary’s, Longwood), but Virginia Tech will head south to the Bahamas a week before Christmas to take on Mississippi State. Overall, that would mean Virginia Tech would take on four top-100 teams before they entered the meat of conference play.
For the second straight year, the scheduling gods have given Virginia Tech a break in the ACC. They will only face North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke once each. Those are the four teams I’m predicting the Hokies will be battling with for the top prize of the ACC.
Of course the highlight of the season will be their one match up with the defending champs. When Duke heads to Blacksburg, ESPN will follow. This will be the first time ESPN GameDay will be hosted on Virginia Tech’s campus for a basketball game.