When you sit back in your recliner and crack open a cold beverage of choice and flip on the TV on Thursday afternoon you will witness something magnificent. Georgia Tech playing basketball. On a double-bye. On a six game winning streak.
When you think about great teams in college hoops you probably think of teams like Duke, UNC, Virginia, Gonzaga, Villanova, and Kansas. When you think of good teams you probably think of teams like Virginia Tech, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Baylor, UCLA, USC, and possibly even Florida.
But what about Georgia Tech?
Tech was picked to finish ninth in the preseason. Yet, they finished fourth and earned a double-bye. All while playing the ACC’s third-strongest league schedule. Not only that, the Yellow Jackets started the year 0-2 after terrible losses to Mercer and Georgia St. Then they were sitting at 5-6 in league play after a painful loss to Clemson at the buzzer. If Tech was on the bubble — it surely would be popped. Life wasn’t fully taken out of Jackets nest, however, a revival happened. And the team finished 15-8 and 11-6 in the ACC, all but locking up a bid in the NCAA Tournament.
According to ESPN, Georgia Tech currently sits as the number 11 seed in Region 1 playing against the Tennessee Volunteers. The winner in that game would potentially take on Villanova, who’s a three seed or Southern Utah, who’s a 14 seed.
Andy Katz also has Georgia Tech getting a 11 seed, but he’s projected Tech to face Maryland with the winner squaring up with the Kansas Jayhawks or Liberty Flames.
Lets face it. If the Jackets make it out of the first round, their next opponent, unless a massive upset happens, would be a tough game in round two.
As for the Yellow Jackets in the ACC Tournament, getting a double-bye has its pros and cons. The good — they can rest and wait. The bad — they can rest and wait. Resting is a good and bad thing when it comes to sports, especially when a team is riding on a high momentum, like Georgia Tech currently is.
They will sit back and wait on their opponent to either be Clemson, who’s going to be favored in round two, or it’ll be the winner of Pittsburgh and Miami. The likelihood of Pitt or Miami knocking off Clemson in round two sounds ludicrous but crazier things have happened. Just ask 2018 Virginia.
Even if the Jackets were to lose in the quarterfinals, a hot date to the big dance is already happening. Tech would just need to be paired up with a blind date. Likely a not-so-hot date — but a date nonetheless.
Tech’s game on Thursday will tip off at 2:30 on ESPN/ESPN2. And then, if Tech can somehow advance past the quarters, maybe they would be ranked in the “good” category. Win the ACC tournament and the respect level raises even more.