Virginia Tech Basketball Bubble Watch (February 13th Edition)

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Feb 13, 2017
[caption id="attachment_4754" align="aligncenter" width="700"] VT is still looking strong in their NCAA Tournament bid pursuit. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies had an interesting week last week as the Hokies lost on the road at Miami but after being down by 14 at halftime, the Hokies came back and won a double overtime thriller over at the time 12th-ranked Virginia 80-78 to get the Hokies another signature win alongside their New Year's Eve win over Duke. The Hokies sit in a great position now with 6 games to go and only one game against a ranked opponent (Saturday at Louisville) with all three home games being winnable along with two opportunities on the road at Boston College and Pittsburgh. In their most recent bracket updates, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has Virginia Tech as an 8 seed while Joe Lunardi of ESPN has the Hokies as a 9 seed. That is almost the same as last week with the Hokies dropping from the 8 seed line to the 9 seed line in Lunardi's but still maintains the fact that the Hokies are in great position to make the NCAA Tournament. Here's a look at how the numbers look for Virginia Tech as they enter the final six games of their regular season. (Numbers as of February 13th)
  • RPI: 37
  • BPI: 48
  • KenPom: 51
  • Record vs. RPI top 50: 2-5
  • Record vs. RPI top 100: 9-7
  • Record vs. RPI top 150: 9-7
  • Record vs. RPI outside top 150: 8-0
  • ESPN SOR: 26
  • SOS: 72
Outside of the record against the RPI records, just about every number is up with the Hokies up 3 spots in the RPI, 7 spots in the BPI, and 4 spots in the KenPom rankings compared to our previous bubble watch. These numbers are getting better at an important time and the Hokies will have their opportunities to make this part of their resume look stronger in the coming weeks with a closing six-game stretch where 5-1 is definitely possible. The biggest jump comes in the strength of schedule as the Hokies went from 86th to 72nd this past week and that number should only continue to climb as Virginia Tech has the advantage of playing a quality ACC schedule. This week should be another boost with Louisville and a Pittsburgh team that still is faring quite well in the RPI despite their ACC struggles. Virginia Tech's strength of record also climbed to 26th this past week and is another indication of how well the Hokies are looking after beating Virginia and having their loss come against a quality Miami team that is in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament. The record against the RPI top 50 is a little worse as the Hokies are now 2-5 compared to 2-4 as of last week, but that is due to Clemson dropping out of the top 50 of the RPI while UMBC's drop out of the top 150 of the RPI takes a top 150 RPI win away there. However, the Hokies still don't have a true bad loss with all their losses coming against RPI top 100 teams though NC State is at 97th and Texas A&M is 88th currently in the RPI. At this point, the Hokies's resume looks like one that would put them around the 8 seed line but with a closing stretch that sets up quite well, Virginia Tech has the potential to push for a 6 or 7 seed especially if they can go 5-1 in this closing stretch with the last four games setting up perfectly with three at home (Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest), and a road game at the worst team in the ACC, Boston College. Virginia Tech is in great shape to comfortably make the NCAA Tournament and give Hokie fans no worries come Selection Sunday.