Feb. 8, 2013
THE FLATS – Looking to even the season series and capture its first-ever victory in Blacksburg, Georgia Tech heads north to face Virginia Tech in a regionally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cassell Coliseum.
Tech (12-9, 2-7 ACC) finished the first half of its conference schedule with a last-second 56-54 loss at home to Florida State Tuesday night. The Yellow Jackets, who have averaged more than five points a game higher in conference play this season than they did a year ago, managed their fewest since the ACC opener against Miami on Jan. 5.
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. 134, XM Ch. 190). The game is being televised on the ACC’s regional cable network, including Fox Sports South in Atlanta, and is also available online via ESPN3 outside the ACC footprint.
Virginia Tech (11-11, 2-6 ACC) will be playing its second game in three days following a 60-55 loss to Maryland Thursday night in Blacksburg, its fifth consecutive loss. The Hokies won the teams’ first meeting this season, a 70-65 overtime decision at McCamish Pavilion.
Virginia Tech is the Yellow Jackets’ first repeat opponent this season in the new 18-game conference schedule, and Tech is looking for its first win on an opponents’ home court. The Jackets return home following Saturday’s game to host Clemson Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets look to snap a four-game losing streak in the series with Virginia Tech and capture the program’s first victory at Cassell Coliseum. Tech is 0-7 all-time on the Hokies’ home court.
Tech is on the road for four of the last five weekends of the season. the Yellow Jackets’ only weekend home game the rest of the year is Mar. 3 vs. NC State.
Georgia Tech’s win over Virginia was its 12th of the season, surpassing last year’s total.
Tech has led at the half in five of its nine ACC games. Tech’s biggest halftime deficit was 10 to Miami. Tech is 4-4 this season overall when it has trailed at the half.
Three of Tech’s seven conference losses have come by five points or less – 56-54 to Florida State, 63-60 at Clemson and 70-65 (in overtime) to Virginia Tech.
Tech continues to be ranked high in the nation in scoring defense (39th) and field goal percentage defense (22nd), and ranks fourth in the ACC in both categories.
Tech’s loss at North Carolina is the only 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.
Five of Tech’s losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 50 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings – Illinois (48), Miami (2), NC State (20), Duke (1) and North Carolina (34). The Yellow Jackets have lost only twice to teams outside the top 100.
After getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech has outrebounded Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia, and tied Wake Forest, on the boards in its last six games.
Tech is 10-3 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,244 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 21-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to a 15-6 start. Tech had won six straight this season before a Jan. 5 loss to Miami.
NC State is the only team to reach 80 points (83) against Tech this season and one of only two teams to shoot 50 percent (50.9) from the floor.
Tech’s losses have come to teams with a combined record of 132-61 (through Feb. 6), and only three of those games were at home. Saint Mary’s (18-4) has the best overall record among the opponents Tech has beaten.
Tech’s lineup for 15 of the first 16 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. Chris Bolden replaced Reed in game 16 at Duke and has started the last six games.
Series Notes vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has won 14 of 18 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including 10 of 13 as a member of the ACC.
The last two meetings between the two teams have gone into overtime.
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 in the first round of the NIT.
The Hokies have won five of the seven games played in Atlanta, including the most recent meeting, a 70-65 overtime victory earlier this season at McCamish Pavilion.
Virginia Tech won four of six games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, including the teams’ first three meetings before the Yellow Jackets captured an 81-70 decision on Jan. 19, 2008.
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 fi rst round in 2011.
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.