Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hoops - Jackets Can't Close

Well, another day, another road loss. This one sure hurt since we seemingly had the game in hand. But UVA surged and the Jackets folded their tents in the last couple of minutes and that was all she wrote.

This game was that familiar pattern - the Jackets fall behind early by double digits (in this case 22-6 at one point). Then the Jackets fight their way back. Half the time they win these games and half the time they lose, but never do they win on the road after going down by double digits........... and today didn't change that trend.

To get the true sense of the game flow, best to look at the game flow graph:

You can see the early first half deficit the Cav's built. Then you can see how the Jackets serioiusly upped their defensive intensity and how they actually took a lead to the half. From then on it was basically nip-and-tuck until it appeared that the Jackets were going to win, building a 6 pt lead. Then someone threw the bucket of ice on the Jackets................ Flat-line............. Nobody scored......... Nobody stopped UVA............ and just like that the game was over and the Jackets were trying to figure out what happened:

Even Coach Leitao was dumbfounded:

"For the life of me, I'm not sure just what happened," Virginia head coach Dave Leitao said. "It just happened in a blur."
Coach Hewitt had a little better idea:

"I'm not sure we could fight any harder than we did for about 37 or 38 minutes," Hewitt said. "We just didn't finish the game."

"They looked pretty much dead in the water with three minutes left and summoned the courage to come back," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt said.

Well, it's really this simple

(As Of February 24)
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
North Carolina 10-3 .769 24-4 .857
Virginia Tech 10-4 .714 20-8 .714
Virginia 10-4 .714 19-8 .704
Boston College 10-5 .667 19-9 .679
Duke 8-6 .571 21-7 .750
Maryland 7-6 .538 21-7 .750
Georgia Tech 6-8 .429 18-10 .643
Florida State 6-9 .400 18-11 .621
Clemson 5-9 .357 19-9 .679
NC State 4-10 .286 14-13 .519
Wake Forest 4-10 .286 13-14 .481
Miami 4-10 .286 11-17 .393

It's really quite simple. The Jackets MUST win their final two games - a tall order considering it's UNC and BC. But they must get seperation from Clemson and FSU since they both have 9 ACC losses. Win one-of-two and we must do serious damage in the conference tourney. SERIOUS damage.......... and on top of that we need help from the selection committee. Win none and it's light's out my friends - here we come to the "Not Invited Tournament".

I always give the benefit of the doubt to Coach Hewitt teams to finish the season strong. Always remember that the games must be played. Nothing is handed to UNC or BC. They must earn the W just as must as we must. This is VERY do-able. Backs are firmly planted up against walls, but this thing can happen.