Tech Makes NCAA Basketball Field for 15th Time

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March 11, 2007

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech earned a bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday, drawing a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region and a first-round date Friday, Mar. 16, at 12:25 p.m. Eastern time against seventh-seeded UNLV in the United Center in Chicago, Ill.

The Yellow Jackets are in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Paul Hewitt and the 14th time since 1985. The winner of the Tech-UNLV game will meet the winner of No. 2 seed Wisconsin and No. 15 Texas A&M Corpus Christi, which tips off 30 minutes following the Tech-UNLV game, on Sunday, and the survivor of that game advances to the Midwest Regional in St. Louis on Mar. 23 and 25.

Press Conference Transcript

Other games in Chicago Friday are top-seeded Kansas against Florida A&M or Niagara (7:10 p.m. Eastern), who play Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio for the right to meet the Jayhawks Friday, and Kentucky vs. Villanova. The survivor of that group will advance to the West Regional in San Jose, Calif., on Mar. 22 and 24.

Game times for Sunday will be announced after Friday’s games are over.

The other four teams in the Midwest Region are No. 6 seed Notre Dame playing No. 11 Winthrop and No. 3 Oregon facing No. 14 Miami (Ohio), who begin play Friday in Spokane, Wash.

Tech is 20-11 overall, 8-8 in the ACC, having won seven of 10 games since the beginning of February. That includes a 6-2 mark in the second half of the ACC schedule, the most dramatic turnaround for the Yellow Jackets since the 2001-02 team finished 7-9 in the conference after an 0-7 start. The Yellow Jackets’ overall mark is a nine-win improvement over last year’s record and identical at this point to that of the 2004-05 team that reached the finals of the ACC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Tech finished the regular season with victories over eighth-ranked North Carolina (84-77) and Boston College (74-60) last week before dropping a 114-112 double-overtime decision to Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Tampa, Fla. The Yellow Jackets have 20 overall wins for the third time in the last four years and the 12th time in Tech history.

UNLV, 28-6 overall and ranked No. 25, won the Mountain West Conference championship after finishing second to Brigham Young in the regular season with a 12-4 conference mark. Third-ranked Wisconsin (29-5 overall) finished second in the Big Ten regular season race with a 13-3 record and lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (26-6 overall) won the Southland Conference championship over Northwestern State after winning the West Division with a 14-2 conference record.

The Tech-UNLV contest is a rematch of the 1990 national semifinals that the Runnin’ Rebels won 90-81 in Denver, Colo., the only previous meeting between the two teams.

Tech is 6-7 vs. teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament, including a 3-2 record against non-ACC teams. The Yellow Jackets enter the tournament with their lowest seed in 15 appearances, never having been lower than a No. 8 seed before.

Tech in the NCAA Tournament

Georgia Tech is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the seven years under head coach Paul Hewitt and 15th in the history of the program. Fourteen of those appearances have occurred since 1985.

The 2004 and 2005 appearances were the Yellow Jackets’ first back-to-back appearances since Bobby Cremins led the Institute to the Big Dance nine straight years from 1985-93.

Tech has a record of 22-14 in NCAA Tournament play, highlighted by its 2004 trip to the NCAA title game as well as a Final Four berth in 1990. The Yellow Jackets have reached the NCAA Sweet 16 seven times (1960, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2004).

Georgia Tech has won at least one game in 10 of its 14 NCAA Tournament appearances.

This is the sixth time the Yellow Jackets have been assigned to the Midwest Region, where Tech has an 8-5 record and advanced through to the Final Four in 2004.

Series vs. NCAA Opponents in Chicago

> Georgia Tech and Nevada Las Vegas have met once before, that coming in the 1990 National Semifinals in Denver, Colo. The Runnin’ Rebels under coach Jerry Tarkanian defeated the Yellow Jackets, 90-81, and went on to defeat Duke in the finals.

> Tech and Wisconsin have met twice before (1-1), most recently in the 2001 ACC-Big Ten Challenge in Atlanta when the Yellow Jackets rallied from a 20-point deficit to win, 62-61. The Badgers won the other meeting in 1963 in Milwaukee, 104-84. The Jackets have never met Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

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