Seth Greenberg On Virginia Tech Upsetting Top-Ranked Duke: “It was a great win, but we gotta keep in perspective.”March 1, 2011 – 7:45 am by Steven Cuce
How bout the Virginia Tech Hokies? By upsetting previously ranked #1 Duke last Saturday, 64-60, the Hokies have strengthened their NCAA Tournament resume in a big way, and have added to the feel of “March Madness” here in late February. Virginia Tech currently sits at 19-8 overall and 9-5 in the ACC, and now has the signature win that they’d been looking for as the regular season winds down. The Hokies are making a strong case for their inclusion into the NCAA tournament after three consecutive years of being “on the bubble” and being reduced to only making the NIT.
To Saturday’s win. Virginia Tech went on a 15-4 run late in the second half against Duke in the span of four and half minutes to wipe away a six-point deficit and take a commanding five-point lead that they ultimately preserved for the victory. Seth Greenberg knows his team put a stamp on a signature win that they desperately needed, one in which could help bolster and ensure a spot in the inaugural season of the 68-team throw-down.
Seth Greenberg joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to discuss the upset win over Duke last Saturday, how many teams from the ACC he thinks will make the NCAA tournament, whether he thinks there should be a limit to how many teams any one conference can send to the NCAA tournament, if he thinks the Hokies have already punched their ticket to the tournament, and truly how wide open does he think this year’s NCAA tournament really is compared to the last few.
That’s a heck of a win against the Blue Devils on Saturday. That’s only their third loss this season. How bout it?
“It was a great win, but we gotta keep in perspective. It’s one game and we gotta move on from it. You know the old line being ‘Yesterday is history and tomorrow being a mystery,’ is true. Right now we gotta stay in the present. We got Boston College on Tuesday, which is a quick turnaround. We’ve gotta get ready to go. It’s one [Win v.s. Duke] they’ll never be able to take away from us, but we gotta validate that win by playing well on Tuesday night against B.C.”
How many teams do you think will come out of the ACC and into the NCAA tournament?
“Five or six is my gut feeling. A lot is going to depend on what goes on down the stretch, but we have a good basketball league. Obviously, down in you’re neck of the woods the Big East is you know if you can breathe and you’re in the Big East, then you’re in the tournament. The Big East has had a great year let’s face it. You know they’ve beaten each other up, yet it hasn’t diminished the value of their league. We’ve beaten each other up and everyone is talking about parity and Duke and [North] Carolina. Let me ask you something [Joe], you’re a pretty bright guys let’s face it, if you put Duke and [North] Carolina in any league would they be two dominate teams? Very good! Come on man let’s not understate the obvious. They would be dominate. If you look at the history of those two programs it’s like putting Alabama and Ohio State in the same football conference. So when everyone says “Well the ACC is just Duke and [North] Carolina,” well that’s kind of unfair because Duke and [North] Carolina would be an elite status in any conference. Our league is good. Florida State is talented despite [Chris] Singleton’s injuries. You know it’s hard winning on the road in our league. Maryland is a hard out. You go into Clemson not an easy place to play. They have great fans, great venues, great traditions, so is the ACC maybe not what it was ten years ago? Maybe it is, but is college basketball what it was ten years ago? We’re talking [Jared] Sullinger and Jimmer Fredette as players of the year. Ten years ago would you mention them in the same category as potential players of the year? Our game is different, so we can’t judge it on where it was, but more where we are in this moment in time.”
Do you think there should be some cut off regarding how many teams from one conference can make the NCAA tournament? For example should the Big East potentially be able to send 11 teams?
“You know I don’t know. Again I don’t know all the teams in the league, but the lower half, well not the lower half. Say twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, if you played four of them twice, alright twice, you’re probably going to have eight wins. Alright there’s a good chance if you’re a really good team you’ve got eight wins, so now all of a sudden if you win one more you’re .500 in conference. I mean you gotta look at…sure they all have quality wins and they’ve been each other up. The league is great. I mean my hats off to the Big East. What an unbelievable year they’ve had. The games are great. They are extremely competitive. The ownership of the fans is terrific. I don’t want it to…to me I’m not of those guys saying…why does everyone have to put one league against the other? Let’s say you know what they’re a good league. Our league is pretty good also. You know the Big Ten is pretty good. The Big Twelve is pretty good. It’s really, really, difficult in any league to win on the road. I don’t want to take anyway from any one league or any one team within a league, but the ACC is not what people think it is. Is it what it was ten years ago? No. It was an eight team league ten years ago, but the culture of college athletics had no doubt changed alright and that’s just the way it is.”
Do you think your team is in the tournament yet?
“I’m not even worried about it. We got B.C. on Tuesday. You know all of stuff is going to play itself out. You know we gotta just keep on winning games. I have senior night tomorrow night. I’ve got three seniors that have been invested in this program. We want to validate our win against Duke, but tomorrow night is about Malcolm Delaney’s last game in Cassell Coliseum hopefully. It’s about Jeff Allen, his maturity and how he’s developed over the last two months. It’s about Terrell Bell, a guy probably if you looked up role player in the dictionary you’re gonna see a picture of Terrell Bell, so there are about ten schools that are not on the bubble. All the rest of us we’re still trying to win games. That’s just the way it is this year.”
How wide open is the NCAA tournament this year? Will there be some team out of “no where” who will win the tournament?
“I think there will be a team from out of no where that will make the Final Four. I’m not sure if there will be a team from out of nowhere that can maintain throughout the course of the tournament and win it all, but you know there are perfect storms. Could it be the George Mason effect again? The Butler effect again? Who knows? It’s going to be a very interesting NCAA tournament without a doubt.”