Photo Credit: ACC Media
Selection Sunday is back with Virginia Tech men's basketball set to reach their fourth-straight contested NCAA Tournament after a 15-6 regular season where they earned the 3 seed in the ACC Tournament and a double bye.
Tech's lack of games in February due to various COVID issues both internal and elsewhere has definitely led to them stumbling down bracket projections from being around a 5-6 seed to likely being seeded anywhere from a 7 to a 10 being possible at this point.
Here's the rundown of the current bracket projections for the Hokies.
- ESPN: 9
- CBS Sports: 8
- USA Today (Bracket WAG): 9
- SB Nation: 9
- Andy Katz (NCAA.com): 7
- Yahoo Sports: 10
- The Athletic: 10
- Sporting News: 9
- Bracket Matrix: 10
So why is Virginia Tech projected where they are at? Well it's not because of the first things that you see on the resume for the Hokies.
Tech has the type of high-quality wins that you look for including an early season win against a Villanova team that still had star guard Collin Gillespie plus their big home wins against Virginia and Clemson. Unfortunately, Tech only has 2 Quad 1 wins total, but the Hokies don't have a loss outside of the top 2 quadrants which is undoubtedly boosting their resume.
Tech also has the basic quality metric of a strong winning percentage both overall at 15-6 and in conference at 9-4. While a down ACC weakens those things some relative to past years, those basic stats are also helping the Hokies. If Tech is going to get as high as a 7 seed, it'll mean that the committee put more value into who you beat, how well you finished in your conference, and did you have any bad losses or not.
Meanwhile, there are a few things holding Tech back starting with the fact that the Hokies are 1-2 since the first week of February with the lone win being against Wake Forest. While some of those lost games were out of their control, that reality is holding Tech back even with those losses being to two other NCAA Tournament teams in ACC Tournament champs Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
The metrics aren't great for the Hokies either as they are ranked 48th in the NCAA's NET ranking, a spot that is closer to what you see from bubble teams rather than 7 or 8 seeds. Tech is also 50th in the KenPom rankings and while their strength of schedule ratings are better than what we've seen in recent years from the Hokies, their metrics as a whole are problematic.
If the committee leans on the metrics and what you've done recently more, then Tech will likely be around a 9 or 10 seed with an 11 even being in the realm of possibility.
Personally, Virginia Tech seems likely bound for an 8-9 matchup but given the lack of recent games and the varying resume points that the Hokies, it's hard to predict where Tech will end up seeded in this year's NCAA Tournament.
Regardless, this is a tremendous accomplishment for Mike Young to get this team to an NCAA Tournament in only his second year in what will be the first of likely many March Madness trips for the Hokies during the Mike Young era.