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Men's Basketball Finishes Regular Season at Virginia

GEORGIA TECH (14-16, 7-12 ACC) vs. VIRGINIA (21-9, 12-7 ACC)

Saturday, March 9, 2024 | 8 p.m. EST | Charlottesville, Va. | John Paul Jones Arena

THE FLATS – Having won four of its last five games, Georgia Tech is closing out its regular season on the road this week, taking on Virginia at 8 p.m. Saturday night at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, the final game of the regular season in the conference.

Tech (14-16, 7-12 ACC) has won three in a row, having defeated Miami (80-76), Florida State (85-76) and Wake Forest (70-69) in the last 10 days. The Jackets have also scored ACC wins over Duke, Clemson (on the road), North Carolina and Syracuse, and are tied for 11th place in the ACC standings with Boston College and Notre Dame entering the final Saturday of the regular season.

Virginia (21-9, 12-7 ACC) has not played since dropping a 73-48 decision last Saturday at Duke. UVA sits alone in third place in the ACC standings, but has lost four of its last six games. including home court defeats to Pittsburgh (74-63) and North Carolina (54-44). The Cavaliers have defeated Wake Forest (49-47) and Boston College (72-68) in that stretch.

Saturday’s game will be televised live on the ACC Network, with a live stream available on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is on the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Legends Sports and flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM). The Tech broadcast is also available on SiriusXM channel 390 and the SiriusXM app.

WHAT’S AT STAKE SATURDAY

Four of the teams in the bottom five of the ACC standings are on the road Saturday. Georgia Tech is at Virginia, Notre Dame is at Virginia Tech, Miami is at Florida State, and Boston College plays at Louisville.

Tech can be seeded no higher than No. 11 in next week’s ACC Tournament, and no lower than No. 14, which means the Yellow Jackets will play in either the 2 p.m. game (12 seed vs. 13 seed) or the 7 p.m. game (11 vs. 14) in the opening round of next week’s ACC Tournament.

Seed scenarios may all shake out before Tech and UVA, the final game of the day, tip off on Saturday.

  • Georgia Tech loses two-way tiebreakers with Boston College and Notre Dame, and wins a two-way tiebreaker with Miami.
  • If Miami loses Saturday, it will be the 14 seed.
  • If Boston College wins Saturday, it will be the No. 11 seed.
  • If Georgia Tech wins and BC and Notre Dame both lose, Tech would be the 11 seed and play either BC, Miami or ND at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
  • If BC, Tech and Notre Dame all win Saturday (3-way tie at 8-12), Tech would be the 13 seed because it is 0-3 against the other two. BC is 3-0 vs. the other two and would be the 11th seed, while Notre Dame would be No. 12 (2-2 vs. the other two). Tech would play Notre Dame at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
  • If BC, Tech and Notre Dame lose and Miami wins, creating a 4-way tie for 11th at 7-13, Tech would be the 14 seed because it has the worst record against the other three teams (1-3). In that scenario, BC would get the 11 seed, Miami would be 12, Notre Dame 13 and Tech 14. Tech would face BC at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Also, if BC wins, Tech and Notre Dame lose and Miami wins, there would a 3-way tie for 12th at 7-13. Tech would be the 14 seed in this scenario (1-2 vs. the other two teams) and play BC at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

 

Head coach Damon Stoudamire Friday media availability

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech is riding a three-game winning streak for the first time since defeating Alabama A&M, Penn State, Massachusetts and Hawai’i in succession in December. Tech finished the regular season with three straight wins last season.
  • Tech is 3-6 in ACC road games this season. Another win Saturday would give the Yellow Jackets a 4-6 record, same as its home mark in conference games. The Jackets are 4-8 in road games overall.
  • This is the sixth consecutive season Tech has finished the regular season on the road. The last time the Jackets finished with a home game was 2017-18. Further, this is the third straight season that Tech finishes the regular season with TWO road games.
  • Fourteen of Tech’s 19 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Twenty-one of Tech’s 30 games overall this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, second-most in the nation (Tech is 12-9 in these games). Fourteen games have been decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech’s seven ACC wins have been earned by a total of 27 points. The Jackets’ nine-point win over Florida State last Saturday has been its widest margin of victory.
  • Tech is 8-12 against Quad 1 (4-5) and Quad 2 (4-7) teams this season, with Quad 1 wins over Duke, Clemson, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Saturday’s game at Virginia represents another Quad 1 opportunity. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Four of Georgia Tech’s ACC wins have come against the ACC’s four highest-ranked teams in the NCAA’s NET rankings – North Carolina (9), Duke (10), Clemson (24) and Wake Forest (42). Virginia (50) is the next highest.
  • Miles Kelly (14.6 ppg) leads three Yellow Jackets averaging in double figures this season, including freshman forward Baye Ndongo (11.7) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (10.1). Tech’s other rotation player averaged between 4.8 and 9.4 points per game.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 26 games. The Jackets have not had two freshmen in its regular starting lineup since the 2018-19 season (Michael Devoe, Khalid Moore), and have not had a freshman regularly start at point guard since Jose Alvarado in 2017-18.

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA

  • Virginia has won the last 11 games in the series, and 19 of the last 21 meetings to move ahead 48-40 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1947.
  • The Cavaliers won the first meeting of the 2023-24 season in Atlanta by a 75-66 score.
  • Tech is just 1-10 at John Paul Jones Arena and has lost on its last nine trips to Charlottesville. The Jackets’ last win on the Cavaliers’ home court was Jan. 27, 2008, a 92-82 overtime decision.
  • The Yellow Jackets were 10-16 against Virginia at University Hall, the Cavaliers’ former home court, Tech’s best winning percentage on any ACC foe’s home court.
  • Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 38-47 against Virginia.
  • Tony Bennett is 18-2 vs. Tech.
  • Tech has failed to score 50 points in six of the 20 meetings against Bennett’s Virginia teams. Tech’s high of 75 came in the very first meeting in 2010.
  • Tech and Virginia have played to overtime seven times since the 1983-84 season, including a 72-71 triple-overtime win for Tech in Atlanta on Jan. 23, 1984, and an 88-85 double-overtime triumph for Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 22, 1995.

 

Baye Ndongo has grabbed 25 rebounds in Tech’s last two games. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech reversed a 29-point home loss to the Demon Deacons on Feb. 6. It was the 10th time in the Yellow Jackets’ ACC history that they have executed a point differential swing of 30 or more points from the first meeting to the second in the same season.
  • It was the first time, however, that the Jackets defeated a team that they had lost to by as many as 29 points in the first meeting. The previous largest margin of defeat was 23, also to Wake Forest in 1993 (lost the first meeting 81-58, won the second 69-58).
  • Tech has led for nearly 76 of the 80 minutes in its last two games, and has trailed for just 35 seconds total.
  • Tech shot 53.7 percent from the floor against Wake Forest, and has hit 50 percent or better in five games this season, all against ACC foes.
  • Tech has averaged 9.1 three-point field goals and connected on 38.1 percent of its three-point tries in road games this season. Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (49 percent) and Miles Kelly (44 percent) lead the way.
  • Tech has out-rebounded each of its last five opponents, and by an average of more than 12.4 per game (34-25 over Wake Forest), and posted its largest margin of the stretch against Florida State at 55-33. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28.
  • Tech has made 76.3 percent of its free throws (167-of-219) in its last nine games, and is 53-of-64 (82.8 percent) over its last three games.
  • After a five-game stretch of scoring less than one point per possession, Tech has scored more than a point per possession in three straight games (1.17 against Miami, 1.10 against Florida State, 1.07 vs. Wake Forest).
  • Tech used just eight players in its wins over Miami, FSU and Wake Forest. Hawai’i on Dec. 22 was the only other game this season in which only eight Jackets saw the court.
  • A freshman has led Tech in scoring 12 times this season. Baye Ndongo led the Jackets in points in eight games this season, Naithan George in three, Ibrahima Sacko in one.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Miles Kelly made five three-point attempts at Wake Forest and passed Drew Barry for ninth place all-time in three-point field goals (183).
  • Kelly also moved up to 44th place on Tech’s all-time scoring list, now with 1,049 points. Ben Lammers is 43rd with 1,055 points.
  • In Tech’s road games, Kelly has averaged 17.5 points, hit 46.2 percent from the floor and 44.0 percent from the free throw line.
  • Baye Ndongo has grabbed 25 rebounds in Tech’s last two games and has eight double-digit rebound games this season.
  • Naithan George broke into double figures for the second straight game and has scored 31 points in Tech’s last two games (15 vs. FSU, 16 at Wake Forest). George had totaled 19 points in his previous five games. He has nine double-digit games against ACC teams this season, 11 in all games.
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 9.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last five games, reaching double digits in points three times and 10 rebounds in one (Florida State). He also has nine assists and seven blocked shots across those five games.
  • Gapare has started Tech’s last seven games and played more than 20 minutes in five of them, including a career-high 29:59 against Florida State.
  • Gapare has blocked at least one shot in seven straight games, and he has a team-high 32 for the season and 19 in 18 ACC games despite averaging only 18 minutes per game.
  • Kyle Sturdivant is 29-for-32 from the free throw line (90.6 percent) over Tech’s last 14 games, 12-of-13 in Tech’s last four games. He leads the Jackets at 87.5 percent from the line this season, 88.6 percent (35-of-39) in ACC play.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo ranks No. 3 nationally among freshmen in rebound average (8.2 per game) and No. 2 in field goal percentage (55.7).
  • Ndongo is one of two freshmen in the nation (JT Toppin of New Mexico is the other) to average at least 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and hit 55 percent from the floor.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (5.0 per game) and No. 1 in assist-turnover ratio (2.44-1) in conference games. He ranks fourth among freshmen nationally in assist rate, according to KenPom.com.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit a team-best 46.9 percent from the floor and 49.0 percent from three-point range in Tech’s road games.

 

 


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Damon Stoudamire. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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