Most Wahoo fans know the trip: I-64 West over Afton Mountain, I-81 South past Roanoke, Exit 118B to 460 West, third right after the first cow. Conservatively, it takes about 2 hours, 15 minutes, but it can be done under two with a slightly “leadier” foot. Yours truly has even hit a 10-point buck around Christiansburg. When you grow up and go to school in Virginia, chances are some of your friends chose to head to Blacksburg for one reason or another, and popping down their for a visit is not a big deal.
But for the Cavaliers, the last couple of trips to Virginia Tech have been less than ideal, leaving a long trip back to Charlottesville, especially in the “revenue sports”. Men’s Basketball hasn’t won at Tech since 2005, and I don’t even want to go into when the last time football has won in Hokieville (1998). And with Sunday nights game being muted by the sound of another ACC Championship for the Gobblers, the Hoos really didn’t have a shot, right?
Not this time.
Virginia, coming off an improbable victory at Minnesota last Monday, held on to a 57-54 decision against a reeling Virginia Tech team who has now lost 3 in a row. Mike Scott continued to be impressive with another 21 point, 13 rebound night, which included a three. Joe Harris continued his impressive start to his college career with 10 points and KT Harrell tacked on 7 more. But it was nice to see Sammy Z back on the court. He only played 15 minutes and was 0-3 shooting, but did have 3 assists and handled the rock pretty well. Virginia had another great shooting first half (55.6%), but only went 8 for 22 down the stretch, which has Tony a little worried as the season rolls on.
Tech helped UVa a lot in this game as well. Other than Delaney’s 26 and Allen’s 12, Virginia Tech got nothing out of the rest of the team, including a 2-for-7 effort from Dorenzo Hudson. Allen fouled out again (shocker) and allowed Scott to scoot by him to grab Joe Harris rebound on a free throw. This was supposed to be the ACC’s 2nd best team and a lock to go to NCAAs, but at 4-4, the Hokies would be hard pressed now for that first round bye at the ACC tourney.
After 7 grueling games on the road, Virginia now gets a little home cooking for the next month. Eight straight games at home should provide a few easy victories, including games with Radford, Norfolk State, Seattle, and Howard. If we can get to UNC with only 1 more loss at 11-4, we will be in good position going into the ACC season to secure an NIT bid. On the other hand, the last two seasons we have opened the ACC slate with a road win, and missed everything both years, including letting a coach go.
But we will savor the win today and enjoy a short ride back to Charlottesville.