Georgia Tech upset Duke on Saturday by taking care of the ball and a lot of good free throw shooting. Those two commodities have not come easily for Paul Hewitt's club in recent years.
The Yellow Jackets came into Saturday shooting just 68 percent from the charity stripe this season. Hewitt teams historically have shot just 71 percent. Against the Blue Devils on they shot 79 percent.
Another startling statistic is the amount of free throws Ga. Tech took - 28. That stats compares favorably to 22 for a season average.
But more importantly, Georgia Tech kept Duke off the free throw line where the Blue Devils have made a living in ACC play. The Devils shot 14 free throws, eight below their season average. Also, Duke shot just 64 percent from the line in the loss.
Mike Krzyzewski's club also shot just 6-28 from the three point line. Well below their season average of 43 percent.
But to continue their winning ways and make a run to the NCAA Tournament, Georgia Tech will have to reverse some recent stats.
In games against ACC opponents, Tech is just 65-94 in nine seasons under Hewitt with just two winning seasons. Four of those seasons have had double-digit losses and none have had less than eight defeats.
We all know how important a winning conference record is to a Tournament bid.
GT has two ACC road contests coming up against Virginia and North Carolina. Hewitt is just 17-57 in ACC road games.
Saddled with one ACC home loss already, it is imperative the Jackets steal at least one on an opponent's home court.
Georgia Tech basketball is a cross roads and time may be short for Hewitt. Fans are excited and optimistic now, but can turn restless very quickly.
Nothing less than a run to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament will do. Is the Yellow Jackets talented roster with three McDonalds All-Americans up to the task?
And Duke? They'll be fine. They just had a bad game.
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