We continue our team-by-team preview as programs prepare for the ACC Tournament.
Overall Record: 17-14
Conference Record: 8-10
Best Wins: @ VCU (76-73), UNC (75-63), FSU (78-56)
Worst Losses: Ohio (67-61), NC State (71-69)
Key Player: Ben Lammers (All-ACC 2nd-team, ACC All-Defensive team, 14.6 pts, 9.2 reb)
Chance of Making the NCAA Tournament: Slim. None. Not impossible.
Josh Pastner and his Yellow Jackets are on the precipice of joining a very small, select group of coaches. Well, he will join one coach in a very specific club. After being named the ACC Coach of the Year, Josh Pastner is on the verge of joining Seth Greenberg as the only ACC Coach in the modern era to win that honor and NOT be invited to the NCAA Tournament. Seriously,
Though, to be totally transparent, Greenberg accomplished that feat twice.
On one hand, it’s easy to say the Yellow Jackets overachieved this year. On the other, it’s embarrassing when finishing 11th in the regular season standing is “overachieving.” Yet, that’s the current state of Georgia Tech’s basketball program. To be fair, led by 2nd Team All-ACC/ACC All-Defense selection Ben Lammers and ACC All-Freshman selectee Josh Okogie, the Yellow Jackets did score big wins over UNC, FSU, Notre Dame, and Syracuse.
Unfortunately, all of those key wins came in Atlanta. In fact, GT had exactly two wins away from home all season long. Against VCU (listed above), and at NC State. Make of that what you will. It’s understandable if the selection committee is wary of such a remarkable resume.
With a sub .500 conference record, and an RPI of 91, Georgia Tech is clearly on the outside looking in. Similar to Clemson, they likely need at least two victories to convince the committee that they are worthy of an invite to the dance. Unfortunately for them, their first opponent is Pittsburgh—not exactly a giant that needs to be slain. Should they take care of business on Tuesday, then Virginia awaits.
So, if you don’t have an appointment to either watch paint dry or grass grow, I suggest you make one. Whatever awful style of basketball will be played if those two teams meet will not be as the basketball Gods intended when the game was invented.
For their part, Georgia Tech’s AdjO is an impressive 99.3 points per 100 possessions...good for 267th in the country, and dead last in the ACC. Yet, their AdjD is 90.8, which is 8th best in the country. So, they have that going for them.
For the good of the ACC, two wins by the Ramblin’ Wreck should be enough to sneak an 11th-place team into the field. For the good of our mental sanity, I hope that doesn’t come to pass.