Jan. 11, 2013
THE FLATS – In a contest between two teams looking for their first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season, Georgia Tech returns home to McCamish Pavilion to face Virginia Tech in a regionally-televised game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tech (10-4, 0-2 ACC) has dropped its first two ACC games, a 62-49 decision at home last Saturday to Miami and an 83-70 loss at 20th-ranked NC State Wednesday night. The Yellow Jackets, who still have their best 14-game start since the 2009-10 season, have not begun the ACC schedule with three straight losses since the 2008-09 season (0-6).
Tech’s four losses have come against teams currently ranked sixth (Miami). 11th (Illinois), 16th (NC State) and 69th (California) in the CBS Sports RPI ranking.
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. 117, XM Ch. 197). The game will be regionally televised on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta), and is also available online at ESPN3 and ACCLive.com.
Virginia Tech (9-6, 0-2 ACC) come to Atlanta with four straight losses, and has lost six of eight games since a 7-0 start in head coach James Johnson’s first season. The Hokies have lost a road game to Maryland and a home game to Boston College to begin their ACC slate.
The Yellow Jackets follow Saturday’s game with visits to No. 1 Duke (Thursday) and North Carolina (Jan. 23) before returning home Jan. 26 to face Wake Forest.
Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are playing their first game in Atlanta since Jan. 25, 2011, a 72-57 Yellow Jacket victory. Tech nearly pulled out its first-ever victory in Blacksburg last year, but Dorenzo Hudson’s closely-guarded three at the buzzer from in front of the Hokies’ bench gave the Hokies a 74-73 overtime victory.
Tech began its first season in McCamish Pavilion with eight straight wins before Miami took a 62-49 victory last Saturday in the ACC opener for both teams.
A win for Georgia Tech against Virginia Tech would give the Yellow Jackets 11 wins for the season, matching last year’s total.
Tech has its best 14-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to an 11-2 start. Tech won six straight before Saturday’s loss to Miami, its first home loss of the season.
Tech is 8-1 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,131 in attendance with two sellouts.
Tech has not played a game closer than seven points this year. All four of its losses have come by double digits.
NC State’s 83 points Wednesday night were the most by a team against Georgia Tech this year, and the Wolfpack became the first team to shoot 50 percent (50.9) against the Yellow Jackets since North Carolina last Jan. 29.
Tech remains in the nation’s top 10 in scoring defense (6th) and field goal percentage defense (8th), and ranks second and third in the ACC, respectively, in those categories.
Tech was listed No. 50 in CBSSports.com’s RPI ranking after its first six games with an overall strength of schedule ranked No. 60. The Yellow Jackets remain in the nation’s top 75 in the Sagarin Index and KenPom.com, but No. 115 in the CBS RPI.
Tech’s losses have come to teams with a combined record of 46-14 (as of Jan. 10), and only one of those was at home.
Tech’s most frequent starting lineup this season (13 of 14 games) has 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.
Tech’s top two scorers for the season currently are both freshmen – Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.9 ppg) and Robert Carter, Jr. (9.9 ppg). Tech’s top two scorers in ACC games only so far, however, are its captains – Mfon Udofia (11.5 ppg) and Daniel Miller (10.5 ppg).
Series Notes vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has won 13 of 17 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including nine of 12 as a member of the ACC. The Hokies won the first three games played in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech won only two of the six games played between the two teams at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, both with the help of some unusual circumstances. The Yellow Jackets captured an 81-70 decision on Jan. 19, 2008 when reserve point guard Matt Causey came off the bench to score 30 points, including seven three-point field goals. The Yellow Jackets also won the most recent game in Atlanta, 72-57, on Jan. 25, 2011, when Iman Shumpert recorded the fourth triple-double in Yellow Jacket history.
The teams have split two ACC Tournament encounters, the Jackets capturing a 73-54 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Washington, D.C., and the Hokies winning a 59-43 decision in the first round in 2011.
Georgia Tech has lost all seven previous meetings with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, including a 74-73, overtime decision in 2012. 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.
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.