The Tech Lunch Pail is excited to announce the launch of the new TLP Insider subscription. Sign up for an account and get the best news, inside scoops, and analysis on the Hokies! Learn more

Virginia Tech Beats #6 Virginia 74-68 to Revive NCAA Hopes

Justyn Mutts Sean Pedulla 1 VT UVA 2023 From VT

For Virginia Tech's fading NCAA Tournament at-large bid hopes, this game against #6 Virginia not only felt like a must-win, but also a chance to jumpstart their push for a bid. Meanwhile, arch rival UVA had a chance to put Tech in a spot where there only path to March Madness would basically be by winning the ACC Tournament.

It was a battle all day but in the end, a Virginia Tech team that has played like the top 25 team they were before Hunter Cattoor's injury showed up today to get the job done.

Virginia Tech beat #6 Virginia 74-68 to improve to 14-9 including 4-8 in ACC play while UVA falls to 17-4 overall including 9-3 in ACC play.

After having a strong offensive performance in the loss at UVA, Tech played even better offensively in this one shooting 50.9% (27-53) with 19 assists compared to only 8 turnovers. That included a strong second half with the Hokies shooting 56% (14-25) from the field.

One critical stretch came between the under-8 and under-4 media timeouts of the second half where Sean Pedulla came out of the game with 4 fouls. This seemed like the opportunity for UVA to pull back level but Tech outscored UVA 8-4 during that stretch to extend their lead to 63-54.

Pedulla has found his form over the past few games which continued today with one of his best games of the season. He led the way for the Hokies with 22 points on 6-13 from the field plus 8-9 from the free-throw line including a few to seal the game in the final minute. He also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and only 1 turnover in what was a great game for the sophomore star.

Justyn Mutts also played a starring role making some great plays for himself and his teammates with 17 points on an efficient 7-11 from the field and 3-3 from the free-throw line plus 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers. Some of Mutts' passes were in tight windows, but he put it where his guys needed to with his teammates stepping up to get it done.

Grant Basile had a quiet first half, but once again was big in the second half hitting a big three and a pair of big shots at the rim on his way to having 14 points on 6-10 shooting plus 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. Hunter Cattoor was the fourth Hokie in double figures with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists including a pair of big threes down the stretch.

MJ Collins and Lynn Kidd also played important complimentary roles as Collins had 5 points and 5 rebounds while Kidd added 6 points on a perfect 3-3 plus 5 rebounds and 2 assists as he continues to be one of the best backup centers in America. John Camden added a rebound and an assist while Mylyjael Poteat also had a rebound.

This is a huge, top-of-the-resume victory for the Hokies that pushes them back into the bubble conversation. The timing couldn't be better as the Hokies could go on a run with 5 games against ACC bottom dwellers plus home games against Miami and Pittsburgh that are quality win opportunities.

A 7-1 close with the loss being at Duke seems very possible which would put VT at 21-10 overall including 11-9 in the ACC with 8 Q1/Q2 wins. That's a realistic path that would give the Hokies a great chance of making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid.

But it wouldn't have been possible without the Hokies taking care of business today against #6 UVA to get a big win to revive their NCAA Tournament hopes.

You must login in order to comment on this post.
Loading Indicator