2018 Virginia Tech Basketball NCAA Tournament Watch Selection Sunday Edition

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Mar 11, 2018
We've finally made it to Selection Sunday as Virginia Tech is set to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for only the third time in program history despite losing to Notre Dame in the second round of the ACC Tournament. The Hokies saw their RPI take a significant hit after their loss to Notre Dame but other than that, the Hokies' resume didn't take much of a hit from their loss to the Fighting Irish. Virginia Tech was safely in the field no matter what happened in Brooklyn and given the numerous amount of losses and low amount of wins suffered by teams projected around them on the bracket, VT's seed likely wasn't affected much by their loss. Virginia Tech will be headed to their second-straight NCAA Tournament with a solid resume headlined by the metrics and their quadrant 1 victories. With that said, here's a look at their resume. When comparing the Hokies' resume to last year's resume, there aren't a lot of differences. While VT's RPI and non-conference strength of schedule are worse, there advanced metrics are improved while their 5 quadrant 1 victories are equal to last year's 5 wins over the top 50 in the RPI. However, the big difference there is the fact that four of those wins for VT came against teams in the top 10 of the RPI. Non-conference strength of schedule will once again keep the Hokies lower on the seed line than they should be. As we've mentioned previously, part of the reason for this was luck as Ole Miss and Iowa turned out to be major disappointments while Washington, while exceeding expectations, struggled down the stretch of their season. However, there were still too many games against weaker competition that should be avoided in the future. The biggest advantage for the Hokies that may push them higher up the seed line this year is their elite group of four wins that no team in America can match. With Clemson jumping back into the RPI top 10, the Hokies are the only team in the country with four wins against teams in the top 10 of the RPI. In addition, the Hokies have arguably the best win in all of college basketball this year via their road win over almost certain #1 overall seed Virginia. The improved metrics are also another positive for the Hokies especially after VT gained a 9 seed last year despite metrics that were not that good. Unfortunately, some of those metrics have gone down over the past week, but still are enough of an improvement to make it reasonable to expect VT to gain a higher seed. Right now, almost all bracketologists have the Hokies around the 8-9 seed line with the Bracket Matrix projecting Virginia Tech to be an 8 seed. An eight seed appears to be the preference of the bracketologists and is where I would also currently project the Hokies to be seeded. While the non-conference strength of schedule and RPI will hurt, Virginia Tech has the best set of four wins in the country combined with strong metrics to make an 8 seed more likely than a 9. However, a 9 seed appears to be the floor with the Hokies having a very slim shot at a 7 seed only due to their great set of four wins. For years, Virginia Tech fans grew accustomed the nervwracking Selection Sundays that usually ended in heartbreak. Now, Hokie Nation will get to celebrate back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, a testament to the impressive job Buzz Williams has done in only 4 years.

Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

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