Georgia Tech's short ACC Tournament run came to an ugly conclusion yesterday as the Jackets fell by a final score of 72-52 at the hands of the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers. It appeared that the previous night's overtime win against Clemson had some lasting effects on the Jackets; a number of the team's steadiest contributors appeared lethargic and slow in the second half, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. The ACC's Player of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon, proved himself worthy of the award once again by dropping 26 points on an efficient 10-15 shooting. Marcus Georges-Hunt did an excellent job on Brogdon during Tech's upset win over the Hoos earlier this season but frankly couldn't keep up this time around, often appearing lost or one step behind the star guard. In all fairness, even Georges-Hunt's best defensive possessions yielded no benefits; Brogdon was on his game last night. He held Georges-Hunt to just 7 points on 1-8 shooting just a day after MGH dropped 28 on Clemson.
A couple of quick notes on the remainder of the basketball season:
- Brian Gregory's fate is likely already sealed at this point. I don't mean that in the sense that he is guaranteed to be fired, just that athletic director Mike Bobinski has almost certainly made his mind up by now. Nothing that the team could do in the NIT will likely change that. Whether Gregory stays or goes will be decided by what has already occurred, not what still lurks on deck.
- Speaking of the NIT, the Jackets will likely be invited as a high seed in the coming days. That is great news for Tech if it does happen simply because a good seed (bracketologists expect the Jackets to land in the 2-3 range) means an extra home game at McCamish Pavilion.
For a better taste of what exactly the experts are expecting as far as seeding for Tech, take a look at this projected NIT bracket from well-respected college basketball outlet Big Apple Buckets: they have the Jackets keyed in as a three seed in a region which would also include Monmouth, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech among other solid programs. Tech would play against Long Beach State in that particular region, though the odds of that scenario playing out perfectly are slim to none because many experts see Monmouth, whose bench has a well-documented proclivity for on-court antics, as a likely NCAA Tournament contender. That would obviously remove them from contention for the one seed in the NIT.
Let's close the book on this season's ACC Tournament with a quick discussion of why the tourney's new home in Washington, D.C. feels odd but makes plenty of sense for the conference. No one in their right mind would argue with the decision to move the tournament north and away from the heart of Tobacco Road, whose confines have been all too kind to the Carolina teams for all too long. The league itself has expanded its footprint northwards, adding Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, and (to an extend) Louisville in recent years, but the tournament has remained rooted in the south. I have no issue with the move from that stance. However, it doesn't really do any favors to Georgia Tech -- last night's game is a perfect example of that. Whether or not the change will stick remains to be seen.
Do you think that moving the NCAA Tournament north to D.C. was the right call?