Sunday, March 14, 2010

Georgia Tech's Season Nears Defining Point With NCAA Tournament Looming

Paul Hewitt is hoping the ACC Tourney run will carry into the NCAAs

Georgia Tech came into Greensboro, NC and the ACC Tournament squarely on the bubble. They leave coming within four points of an ACC Championship.

After two straight losses to finish the regular season, the Yellow Jackets had fallen to 7-9 play with a talent laden team many thought, including head coach Paul Hewitt, would compete for an ACC title.

Well they did just that on Sunday, down just three with a minute to go, hoping to match their football classmates with an ACC Championship. Hewitt’s team rose to meet the adversity they had largely brought upon themselves.

Hewitt’s critics have been numerous this year, and I have been one of them at times. He now takes a team who nearly won a conference title into the NCAA Tournament with the knowledge that his team can still play a lot better (Tech set an ACC Tournament record for turnovers).

But you can believe those critics will be boisterous once again if Georgia Tech is upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Which brings me to the question: What defines a season in college basketball? Is a good regular season? A good conference tournament showing? Or the NCAAs?

Ask Wake Forest, who last year made it all the way to number one in the country and finished tied for second in the conference at 11-5. But the Demon Deacons lost their first ACC Tournament game to seven seed Maryland than lost to 13 seed Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Was that a good season for Wake or a disappointing one?

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich earlier this week said any discussion regarding the future of Georgia Tech basketball would be held after this season. He went on to say the most important games of the season lie ahead.

Regardless of what happened in the regular season or in Greensboro, this next week (or two) will define Georgia Tech’s season.

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