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Tech Opens ACC Tournament Against Miami

Greensboro, N.C. – Riding a six-game winning streak to finish the regular season, Georgia Tech begins competition in the 68th New York Life Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed, its highest since 2004, and a double-bye to a 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal date at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets draw Miami as their opponent, whom Tech defeated, 87-60, in Coral Gables on Feb. 20.

Georgia Tech update – The Yellow Jackets, winners of six straight games and 9-5 since its 17-day COVID pause in January, grabbed its highest ACC finish since the 2004 national runner-up team also finished fourth, and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 38. Tech’s current surge began with a 71-65 home win over Pitt on Feb. 14, and continued with a pair of big road wins at Miami (87-60) and No. 16 Virginia Tech (69-53), home wins over Syracuse (84-77) and Duke (81-77) and a 75-63 win at Wake Forest last weekend.

Miami update – The Hurricanes have come alive to win three straight games since a six-game losing streak late in the regular season, including a 79-73 triumph over Pitt in the opening round and a 67-64 win over Clemson in Wednesday’s econd round. The Jackets’ win in Coral Gables handed Miami its third loss in that streak, and the Canes lost to Florida State, Clemson and Virginia before ending the regular season with a home win over Boston College.

Broadcast information – Live TV broadcast on the ESPN2 and live streaming on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College and flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The ESPN broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 80 (internet 80).

TECH’S ACC TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Georgia Tech has played in 40 ACC Tournaments, and has a 26-37 all-time record in the event. The Yellow Jackets have won three championships, in 1985 (Atlanta), 1990 (Charlotte) and 1993 (Charlotte).

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 also made the finals in 2005 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Tech was 0-2 in the ACC Tournament under coach Dwane Morrison, 15-16 under Bobby Cremins (including all three titles), 9-11 under Paul Hewitt (runner-up in 2005 and 2010), 2-5 under Brian Gregory. and 0-3 under Josh Pastner.

Tech did not play in the 2020 tournament while serving an NCAA postseason ban.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks to the media Monday

JACKETS RECEIVE TOP ACC HONORS

Moses Wright was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-ACC first team, and Jose Alvarado was voted the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-ACC honoree, highlighting the list of honors awarded to Yellow Jacket players following the team’s run to a fourth-place finish in the ACC.

Wright became the third Yellow Jacket to be named the conference’s top player. Mark Price was named by the Associated Press in 1985, and Dennis Scott was honored in 1990 by the Atlantic Coast Sportswriters Association, whose selections are recognized as the official team. Alvarado is the second Tech player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors, following center Ben Lammers in 2017.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., Wright is the first Tech player to make the All-ACC first team since center Alvin Jones in 2001, and was the overall leading vote-getter in the balloting by the panel. Alvarado, a 6-foot senior, made the second team after being voted to the third-team in 2020. Junior guard Michael Devoe (Orlando, Fla.) received honorable mention for the second year in a row, 16th in overall points received.

Further, Alvarado and Wright both were named to the ACC All-Defensive Team, the first time Tech has placed two individuals on that unit. Alvarado led the voting for that team, being named on 69 of 76 ballots.

THE TIPOFF

  • Tech in Greensboro – Georgia Tech has never won an ACC Tournament played in Greensboro, but it has reached the finals on three occasions, falling to Duke in 1986 (68-67), Wake Forest in 1996 (75-74) and Duke in 2010 (65-61). Greensboro has also been the scene of 12 one-and-done appearances for the Yellow Jackets, who are 9-17 all-time in the Greensboro Coliseum.
  • Can I get a win? – Tech has lost its last four ACC Tournament games since defeating Clemson in overtime in the opening round of the 2016 tournament in Washington, D.C. The Jackets did not participate in the 2020 tournament.
  • Long time coming – With an 11-6 ACC record to follow last year’s 11-9 finish, Georgia Tech has its most ACC victories (22) in back-to-back years in its 42-year history in the conference. The Yellow Jackets went 8-8 in 1994-95 and 13-3 in 1995-96 (21 wins).
  • High cotton – Tech’s fourth-place finish in the ACC regular season is its highest since its NCAA Tournament runner-up team tied for third in 2004. Coupled with last year’s fifth-place finish, the Yellow Jackets have their highest back-to-back finishes since 2004 (T-3) and 2005 (4th).
  • Double bye-bye – This is the first time the Yellow Jackets have opened the ACC Tournament beyond the first day since 2005, and Tech has the coveted double-bye for the first time since the ACC expanded to 15 teams.
  • Also – Tech achieved 10-plus ACC wins in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Tech also has posted winning ACC records in back-to-back seasons since 1989 and 1990 (both 8-6). Also, the Yellow Jackets are five games over .500 in the ACC for the first time since March 3, 1996.
  • Six straight – Tech has won six consecutive ACC games, a program high under head coach Josh Pastner. The Yellow Jackets have not won that many consecutive ACC games since they won the last seven regular season games of the 1995-96 season.
  • Home sweet home – Tech finished the 2020-21 campaign with an 8-1 reord at home in ACC games this season, and has won 14 of its last 15 conference games at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets won four of those ACC games at home after trailing as the half.
  • Snack runs – After dropping its first five ACC road games this season, Tech won its last three by an average of 18.3 points against Miami (87-60), No. 16 Virginia Tech (69-53) and Wake Forest (75-63). It is the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Yellow Jackets have won three straight ACC road games,
  • Rise above – The Yellow Jackets once again outperformed pre-season projections in 2020-21, finishing fourth in the ACC after being projected to finish ninth. Last season, Tech finished in fifth place after being picked to finish 12th in the official poll of ACC media. Same thing in 2018-19, when Tech finished 10th in the ACC after being projected to finish no higher than 13th in the preseason. Tech also outperformed projections in 2016-17, finishing 11th after being picked to finish 14th in Josh Pastner’s first season.
  • The winning side – Tech now has a winning streak or has won the last meeting against 11 of its 14 ACC foes. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last meetings only to Clemson, Louisville and Virginia (eight straight losses), and two of those teams are on Tech’s side of the ACC Tournament bracket.
  • Nothing but NET – Georgia Tech’s six-game winning streak has elevated the Yellow Jackets 25 spots in the NCAA’s NET rankings (from 62 to 37) and 23 spots in the KenPom.com rankings (from 55 to 32). Those are Tech’s highest positions in both rankings during head coach Josh Pastner’s tenure. Tech is 8-6 against quad 1 and 2 teams.
  • Tech’s ACC schedule rated third-strongest – Georgia Tech went 11-6 against an ACC schedule ranked No. 3 in strength according to KenPom.com. Tech’s schedule had been rated the strongest prior to playing at Wake Forest to finish the season.
  • Big wins for the Jackets – Tech has defeated four AP top 25 teams this season – No. 20 Kentucky (Dec. 6), No. 20 Clemson (Jan. 20), No. 16 Florida State (Jan. 30) and No. 16 Virginia Tech – all by double digits, an average of 15.5 points per game. Only Virginia Tech has beaten as many top 25 teams (also four).
  • Four-large – Georgia Tech is one of two NCAA Division I teams (Ole Miss is the other) to have four active players with 1,000 career points. This has never happened in Tech history. Moses Wright joined the group Feb. 20 at Miami and has 1,108 career points. Michael Devoe (1,102 points) reached that benchmark Feb. 14 against Pitt. Bubba Parham (1,432) already had 1,000 when he transferred to Tech, and Jose Alvarado (1,390) surpassed the mark late last season.
  • Doing it at both ends – Through the end of the regular season, Georgia Tech ranked No. 6 in the ACC (conference games only) in scoring offense (71.76 ppg) and No. 4 scoring defense (67.29 ppg). Florida State is the only other team to rank sixth or higher in both.
  • On second thought – After intermission during its six-game winning streak, the Yellow Jackets have shot 55.2 percent from the floor (96-of-174). Tech shot 50 percent or better the second half of 12 of its 17 ACC games this season. In Tech’s 11 ACC wins, the Jackets have made 56.1 percent (174-310) of their attempts after halftime.

Moses Wright speaks to the media Monday

SERIES VS. MIAMI

Georgia Tech has won three of the last four meetings with Miami to close the gap in the all-time series to 14-11 in favor of the Hurricanes … Tech won the first two meetings against Miami after they became members of the ACC, but Hurricanes won nine of the next 11 before the Yellow Jackets captured five of the last nine … Miami has 13-9 edge against the Yellow Jackets since it joined the ACC … Tech won the only regular-season meeting between the two teams in 2020-21, an 87-60 victory at the Watsco Center on Feb. 20 which is the Yellow Jackets’ biggest ACC road win in terms of margin over victory … Miami won the only ACC Tournament meeting between the two teams, in 2012 at Phillips Arena (now State Farm Arena) in Atlanta … Fifteen of the 25 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less … Tech is 5-7 against Miami teams coached by Jim Larranaga, and 6-7 against Larranaga, including a 70-62 win over his George Mason team on Nov. 20, 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico … Tech coach Josh Pastner is 5-2 against Miami, including a pair of victories during his term as head coach at Memphis.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Getting himself Wright – Moses Wright probably sealed his selection as ACC Player of the Year with a remarkable stretch during Tech’s six-game winning streak, averaged 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds. He has hit 65-of-97 FG (67 pct.), 23-of-36 FT (63.9 pct.) and 3-of-4 3pt FG, adding in 19 assists, 12 blocks, and 6 steals during the stretch.
  • The Wright stuff – Moses Wright ranks among the ACC’s TOP EIGHT in scoring average (3rd, 17.96 ppg), rebound average (3rd, 8.13 rpg), field goal percentage (3rd, .544), steals (8th. 1.52 pg), blocked shots (6th, 1.65 per game), offensive rebounds (3rd, 3.13 rpg) and minutes (5th, 35.76 mpg).
  • Moses climbs the mountain – Moses Wright is the 21st player in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career, reaching the scoring mark Feb. 20 at Miami and the rebound mark Jan. 30 vs. Florida State. The 6-9 senior now has 1,108 career points and 600 career rebounds.
  • All in for Alvarado – A season-long ACC Player of the Year candidate (he received four votes), Jose Alvarado ranks among the top 10 in the ACC in seven (7) statistical categories … No. 9 in ACC in scoring (15.48 ppg), No. 6 in FG percentage (.512), No. 1 in FT percentage (.881), No. 6 in assist average (4.17), No. 1 in steals (2.87), No. 6 in assist/turnover ratio (1.96), No. 3 in minutes (36.93) … With enough makes he would also rank in the top 10 in three-point percentage (.406).
  • On guard – Michael Devoe (16.12 ppg vs, the ACC) and Jose Alvarado (14.41 ppg vs. ACC) rank No. 8 and 12, respectively, in the ACC and have accounted for 42.5 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in conference games. They have scored or assisted on 66.4 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. The Jackets are 11-1 this season when both players score in double digits, 9-0 in ACC games.
  • The Three Amigos – Moses Wright (16.94), Michael Devoe (16.12 ppg) and Jose Alvarado (14.41) and all rank among the top 12 players in scoring average. Syracuse is the only other team with three players in the top 20. They have accounted for 66.1 percent of the Jackets’ scoring in league games. Tech is 7-0 in ACC games (9-1 overall) this season when all three reach double figures.
  • Bombs away – Alvarado and Devoe have combined to make 40.8 percent of their three-point shots in ACC games, combining for 71 of the Yellow Jackets’ 128 threes.
  • Ball security – The Jackets remain No. 1 in the ACC in turnover margin (plus-4.13) and rank No. 10 nationally in turnover margin. Tech’s margin of plus 4.12 in ACC games also ranks No. 1. Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (15.43) in league games, and is third in turnovers committed (11.30).

Jose Alvarado speaks to the media Monday

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! 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 fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 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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