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Jackets to Face Virginia Tech in ACC Tournament Opening Round

March 9, 2011

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Greensboro, N.C. – Playing the late-night game of the opening round for the third time in six years, Georgia Tech opens its 32nd Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament against Virginia Tech at approximately 9:30 p.m. Thursday night at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. The game will be regionally-televised on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta).

Tech (13-17, 5-11 ACC), the No. 11 seed in the tournament, enters the 58th annual tournament with some momentum built by winning twice during the last week of the regular season. The Yellow Jackets captured their first road win of the season at Wake Forest, 80-54, then took a 66-57 win over Miami Sunday on Senior Day.

The winner of Thursday night’s game will advance to meet No. 4 seed Florida State at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (16.7 per game) and steals (9.7 per game), and has begun to click offensively in its last three games, averaging 73.3 points, shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from three-point range.

The Jackets are led by second-team All-ACC choice Iman Shumpert, a 6-5 guard from Oak Park, Ill., who is bidding to become the fourth player in ACC history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. He has averaged nearly 20 points a game over his last 15 games. The Jackets also expect to have 6-6 sophomore Brian Oliver, who has missed the last eight Tech games after having surgery to repair a fractured left thumb.

Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team, which returned two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that reached the championship game of last year’s ACC Tournament and won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, is one of the youngest in the ACC, with freshmen and sophomores making 92 of 150 possible starts and playing around 68 percent of the minutes.

Last year’s squad nearly won four games in four days in the tournament after dropping its final two regular season games.

Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) comes to Greensboro having lost two straight to Boston College and Clemson following a stirring 64-60 homecourt victory over top-ranked Duke.

The teams split their regular-season games, with the Yellow Jackets winning 72-57 on Jan. 25 in Atlanta, and the Hokies prevailing by a 102-77 count on Feb. 13 in Blacksburg. Georgia Tech has won the teams’ only ACC Tournament encounter, 73-54, in 2005.

Game Data

#11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-17, 5-11 ACC) vs. #6 Virginia Tech Hokies (19-10, 9-7 ACC)
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tipoff: 9:30 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Greensboro Coliseum (capacity 23,371), Greensboro, N.C.
Television: ACC Network – Tim Brando, play-by-play; Mike Gminski, color
Radio: Georgia Tech Sports Network from IMG College, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) – Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 212
Tech Record Breakdown: 10-6 at home, 1-10 on the road, 2-1 neutral
ACC Tournament Titles (3): 1985, 1990, 1993
ACC Tournament Record: 24-28
At Greensboro Coliseum: 8-13
As No. 11 Seed: 0-2
Series History: Virginia Tech leads, 11-4 (Georgia Tech leads, 1-0, in the ACC Tournament)

Tech’s ACC Tournament History

Georgia Tech has played in 31 ACC Tournaments, and has a 24-28 all-time record in the event. The Yellow Jackets have won three championships, in 1985, 1990 and 1993, but none of those occurred in Greensboro.

Tech has been a runner-up four times (1986, 1996, 2005, 2010). The 1986, 1996 and 2010 runs to the finals occurred in Greensboro.

Tech is 8-13 all-time in ACC Tournament games played in the Greensboro Coliseum. Since 1996, when the Yellow Jackets reached the finals against Wake Forest, the Yellow Jackets are 4-6 in tournament games in Greensboro.

Tech has an 9-10 record in the tournament with Paul Hewitt as its head coach (4-4 in Greensboro), including runner-up finishes in 2005 in Washington, D.C., and 2010 in Greensboro.

The Yellow Jackets have won their opening round game each of the past three years, and have won at least one tournament game in six of 10 years under Hewitt, including first-round victories over Virginia (2001, 2008), North Carolina (2004, 2010) and Clemson (2009), plus wins over Virginia Tech and North Carolina in 2005 to reach the finals.

Series History – Tech vs. Virginia Tech

> Virginia Tech has won 11 of 15 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including seven of 10 as a member of the ACC. The Hokies won the first three games played in Atlanta before the Yellow Jackets captured an 81-70 decision on Jan. 19, 2008.

> Virginia Tech has won four of six meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, including the teams’ first game of the 2010-11 season, a 72-57 Yellow Jacket win on Jan. 25 that snapped a three-game losing streak for the Jackets in the series. The Hokies earned a split of the regular-season series by winning in Blacksburg, 102-77, on Feb. 13

> Georgia Tech won the teams’ only ACC Tournament encounter, a 73-54 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Washington, D.C. Georgia Tech went on to reach the tournament finals.

> Georgia Tech has lost all six previous meetings with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, including a 102-77 decision in 2011. The Hokies, led by future NBA star Dell Curry, held off the Jackets and their future All-Americans Mark Price and John Salley, 77-74, in the teams’ first meeting at Cassell Coliseum in 1984. It was Georgia Tech’s first post-season game in 13 years and a precursor to the ACC Championship season a year later.

> Georgia Tech’s first victory over Virginia Tech occurred on Dec. 27, 1962, a 73-72 overtime triumph at the Gator Bowl Tournament that was part of an 11-0 start for the Yellow Jackets. Tech went on to finish the season 21-5. Both teams were ranked in the UPI poll at the time, Georgia Tech at No. 18, Virginia Tech at No. 14.

> Both teams were members of the old Metro Conference, but not at the same time. Georgia Tech was a member for three seasons from 1975-76 through 1977-78 before leaving to join the ACC. Virginia Tech joined the league for the 1978-79 season.

This Season vs. Virginia Tech

Jan. 25 in Atlanta – Brian Oliver scored 28 points, Iman Shumpert had a triple-double and Georgia Tech continued its strong home play by beating Virginia Tech 72-57.

Shumpert had 22 points with game-high totals of 12 rebounds and 11 assists. He added seven steals, another high mark for the game. Shumpert’s triple-double was the first for Georgia Tech since Kenny Anderson against Pittsburgh on Dec. 28, 1989.

Malcolm Delaney, averaging 18.9 points, scored only eight points. The Hokies relied on the inside play of Jeff Allen (18 points) and Victor Davila (13) while going without a 3 for the first 31 minutes.

Oliver had four 3s, including three in the final 10 minutes when the Yellow Jackets took the lead.

Tech limited the Hokies to 18 second-half points, and one field goal over the last 8-1/2 minutes.

Feb. 13 in Blacksburg – Malcolm Delaney scored 22 of his season-high 33 points in the first half to lead Virginia Tech past Georgia Tech 102-77 at Cassell Coliseum.

Virginia Tech, which avenged a 72-57 loss to the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta on Jan. 25, scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed.

Georgia Tech, which has lost five straight, cut the lead to 9-6 on a basket by Iman Shumpert, but the Hokies embarked on a 33-11 run over the next 8 minutes to blow the game open. Virginia Tech hit 14 of its first 17 shots from the floor.

Delaney scored 15 during that run, including four free throws after Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt received back-to-back technicals with 7:53 remaining.

Virginia Tech’s Jeff Allen had 25 points and 14 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double. Shumpert paced Georgia Tech with 27 points.

Tech Turns The Tide in Season’s Final Week

Georgia Tech stopped an eight-game ACC losing streak by winning at Wake Forest, 80-54, for its first road win of the season, then defeated Miami at home on Senior Day, 66-57, in the final week of the regular season.

In its victory over Wake Forest, the Yellow Jackets established a school record for margin of victory in an ACC road game. Iman Shumpert scored 24 points, Moe Miller added 20, and freshman Jason Morris added 13 points as the Yellow Jackets pulled away from a seven-point halftime lead.

On Sunday, Tech rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit by outscoring Miami, 39-23, and forced 14 turnovers in the second half to win. Shumpert led the Jackets with 19 points, and seniors Lance Storrs and Moe Miller shined in their final home game by scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively.


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