Feb. 2, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech returns home to play two games in a three-day span, first hosting Virginia at 3 p.m. Sunday at McCamish Pavilion in a nationally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference Sunday Night Hoops game on ESPNU.
Tech (11-8, 1-6 ACC), coming off a tough 63-60 loss at Clemson Tuesday night in which the Yellow Jackets led by 10 in the first half and had a chance to tie with two free throws in the final minute, are 9-2 at home this season. Tech The Yellow Jackets are averaging more than five points a game higher in conference play this season than they did a year ago.
Saturday’s game can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 94, XM Ch. 193). It is the first of two scheduled appearances for Tech on the ACC Sunday ESPNU package and can also be viewed on the WatchESPN application.
Five of Tech’s losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 35 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings – Illinois (31), Miami (4), NC State (13), Duke (1) and North Carolina (34). The Yellow Jackets have return meetings with Miami, NC State and North Carolina in the second half of the conference season.
Virginia (15-5, 5-2 ACC) sit in second place in the ACC standings after being picked seventh in pre-season polls. The Cavaliers, 2-3 on road games (1-2 ACC) this season, knocked off 19th-ranked NC State at home, 58-55, Tuesday night at home and come to Atlanta on a four-game winning streak. Virginia has the ACC’s stingiest defense (51.1 points per game) and held the Jackets to 38 points in their only meeting last season.
This is the first of two meetings with Virginia this season. The Yellow Jackets pay a visit to John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on Feb. 24, Tech has a quick turnaround after Sunday’s game, hosting defending ACC champion Florida State Tuesday night.
The Yellow Jackets will try and snap a five-game losing streak to Virginia, which is Tech’s longest in the series since an eight-game skid in the early 1980s.
Tech is averaging 63.7 points per game in ACC games this season, 5.1 points higher than it did a year ago. Tech is attempting 10 more field goals per game in ACC play than it did a year ago.
Tech’s 82 points against Wake Forest matched a high in an ACC game under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets’ 20-point margin of victory, 32 field goals made and 20 assists were all ACC bests under Gregory.
Georgia Tech’s win over Wake Forest gave the Yellow Jackets 11 wins for the season, matching last year’s total.
Tech has led at the half in four of its seven ACC games. The Yellow Jackets trailed by 10 to Miami and eight at North Carolina.
Tech’s loss at North Carolina was the first game this season in which the Yellow Jackets neither led, nor were tied past opening tip. Tech has led wire-to-wire in three games – Georgia, The Citadel and Wake Forest.
Tech has reversed two trends in its last three games, one good and one bad. The good – after getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech has outrebounded both Duke, North Carolina and Clemson, and tied Wake Forest on the boards.
After averaging just 11.5 turnovers in its first 15 games, the Yellow Jackets have 72 turnovers in the last four games (18 pg).
Tech is 9-2 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,276 in attendance with two sellouts.
Tech has played just five true road games this season, four against teams ranked in the top 35 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings top 25 – a 75-62 loss to No. 22 Illinois on Nov. 28, an 83-70 loss to No. 16 NC State on Jan. 9, a 73-57 loss at No. 1 Duke on Jan. 17 and a 79-63 loss to No. 34 North Carolina on Jan. 23.
Tech still has its best 19-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to a 14-5 start. Tech had won six straight this season before a Jan. 5 loss to Miami.
Six of Tech’s eight losses have come by double digits, the 70-65 overtime loss to Virginia Tech and the 63-60 defeat at Clemson being the exceptions. Eight of the Yellow Jackets 11 victories have been by double digits, the closest game being a 73-66 win over UNC Wilmington.
NC State is the only team to reach 80 points (83) against the Yellow Jackets this season and the only team to shoot 50 percent (50.9) from the floor.
Tech continues to be ranked high in the nation in scoring defense (43rd) and field goal percentage defense (14th), and ranks fourth in the ACC in both categories.
Tech’s losses have come to teams with a combined record of 112-47 (as of Jan. 31) and an average RPI rank of 55, and only two of those games were at home.
Tech’s lineup for 14 of the first 15 games had been Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at the guards, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr., at the forwards and Daniel Miller at center. Jason Morris started in place of Georges-Hunt against California. Chris Bolden replaced Reed in game 16 at Duke and has started the last four games.
Series Notes vs. Virginia
Virginia has won the last five meetings in the series, including a 70-38 win in the teams’ only regular-season meeting in the 2011-12 season. It was the fewest points Tech had scored in the series save for a 55-37 loss on Dec. 1, 1979 in Charlottesville.
Virginia has won the last three meetings in Atlanta, including its last two in Alexander Memorial Coliseum and one at Philips Arena. Overall, Tech was 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, is 22-11 on all home courts and 24-12 in games played in the city of Atlanta.
Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 36-33 against Virginia.
Tech has four wins in its last eight trips to Charlottesville, but is just 1-3 at John Paul Jones Arena. The Yellow Jackets were 10-16 against Virginia at University Hall, the Cavaliers’ former homecourt, Tech’s best winning percentage on an ACC foe’s home court.
Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Tony Bennett is 4-0 vs. Tech.
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.
In the ACC Tournament, Tech has won five of nine games, including a 70-61 Jacket victory in the 1990 final in Charlotte.