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Virginia Tech Hokies

1. Can't Win the Small Ones. The Hokies finished their ACC season 10-6, their best mark in the conference and one game out of first place. The weird part? Tech was 5-2 against the top four teams in the conference, including 3-0 against teams ranked in the national top five, but only 3-4 against the bottom five teams, including two double-digit losses to N.C. State and Sidney Lowe's red blazer. It doesn't help that three of their four non-conference losses came to powerhouses Marshall, Western Michigan and a George Washington team that's having a down year. On the other hand, Virginia Tech was the first team to beat both Duke and UNC on the road in the same season since Georgia Tech in the 1995-96 season, and only the third team to do so in the last 25 years. But it's all about ending the futility: Virginia Tech hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1996, when Ace Custis patrolled the lane and the Hokies were in the Atlantic-10 conference. To put that in perspective, 1996 was the year the "Macarena" was the top-selling single in America.

2. A Ballsy Move. Junior forward Deron Washington has provided plenty of highlight plays this season with his freakish athleticism and constant hustle, and his retro look also provided fodder for a sign at UVA that read, "Hey Deron, the 80's wants its sweatband back." Sweatband aside, Washington inspired Duke haters everywhere by putting his sweaty manparts in Greg Paulus' face on his way to a layup in Tech's 67-65 upset of Duke at Cameron Indoor. Washington later sealed the deal by blocking Paulus' last-ditch heave out of bounds at the buzzer. The sweatband compares with only A.D. Vassalo's penchant for shaving "PR" into the back of his hair, reminding the entire world that he is a shoot-first guard from Puerto Rico, for most interesting Tech hair.


3. The Ones That Got Away. Sometimes missing out is good, sometimes it's bad. Tech coach Seth Greenberg offered Stephen Curry, son of Virginia Tech Hall of Famer Dell Curry, a walk-on opportunity with the Hokies in response to Curry's desire to follow his dad's footsteps at VT. Today, Curry is leading Davidson in scoring and shooting 41 percent from behind the arc, which would help a Tech team that is shooting just 35.6 percent from deep this season. Also, the man Greenberg replaced at Tech, basketball legend Ricky Stokes, is currently running the East Carolina program into the ground much as he did the Hokies. Stokes took the Pirates helm after departing Blacksburg after the 2003 season with a sterling 46-69 record. Among those 46 wins was a grand total of 10 in three seasons of Big East conference play. Greenberg won seven in his only year coaching in the conference. — Brad Hinshelwood

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