Hokies Get Top 25 Ranking
For the first time since November 15, 2010, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team is ranked inside the Top 25.
The latest top 25 Associated Press Men’s basketball rankings are out. The only new member to the AP’s Top 25 is Virginia Tech, which beat Duke 89-75. The Hokies (12-1) jump in at No. 21, their first ranking since the opening week of the 2010-11 season.
Virginia Tech’s win against the Blue Devils put the Hokies into the poll and gave the ACC seven ranked teams in the month of January for the first time in its history. It’s also the first time Virginia Tech, which visits North Carolina State on Wednesday night, has been ranked since November 2010.
The other six ACC teams that come in ranked are No. 8 Duke, No. 9 Louisville, No. 11 Virginia, No. 12 Florida State, No. 14 North Carolina and No. 23 Notre Dame. The ACC’s seven ranked teams lead the way this week, though none are higher than No. 8. The Pac-12 and the Big East each have four ranked teams, while the Big Ten and Big 12 each have three.
To say the ACC isn’t becoming a hard conference to play basketball in would be a foolish argument to make. Just by looking at most of their teams in conference strength of schedule puts them at the top alone. When a program has to go on the road to Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and now Virginia Tech, that opposing team should know it will be a hard place to play.
Even with the growth of confidence from the Hokies’ players and their fans, head coach Buzz Williams knows there needs to be “zero distractions.”
“From this point forward, it’s going to be our collective team (that must come through)”, Williams said. “So we have to stop having interruptions.” Virginia Tech can score and do it quickly, however their main problem has been keeping the ball. They turn it over too many times and luckily it hasn’t cost them much this season.
The Hokies men’s basketball team joins the football team and women’s basketball teams in the polls, and it marks the first time in school history that all three programs have been ranked at the same time.
The only blemish on the Hokies resume is the 68-65 loss to Texas A&M back on November 25 when Tech gave up a 17-point lead.
“That was a learning curve for us,” Williams said. “We learned a lot from that game. I thought at that time we had a long way to go, I still do — but looking at where we are now compared to then, I would say we are moving in the right direction.”
The Hokies will stay on the road after playing NC State as they will head down to Florida to face No. 12 Florida State. Tech won’t be back at home until January 10 when they take on Syracuse which will start a three-game home stand.