Justin Bibbs had 19 points and Zach LeDay chipped in with 16 points as Virginia Tech picked off No. 7 Miami in Blacksburg on Saturday, 77-62.
The loss cost the Hurricanes a shot at winning the outright ACC regular season title. They entered the afternoon tied with North Carolina atop the conference standings. A UNC loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium would give Jim Larrañaga’s club a share of the regular season title.
Miami entered the game having won eight of their last nine and three in a row, but for the second time in the last three weeks, they took an embarrassing loss on the road. That doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t know about this group. They can be inconsistent, which is what tends to happen when you rely so heavily on a kid that is as inconsistent as Angel Rodriguez. That said, this is still a group to watch out for in March. They have quality guard play, they have athleticism on the wings and they have good, veteran bigs that can battle and know their role. They’re dangerous.
As long as they don’t have to play on the road.
The bigger story here, however, is Virginia Tech. The Hokies have been one of the nation’s biggest surprises this season, and that’s a very strong argument to make for Buzz Williams as the ACC Coach of the Year.
Tech entered the season without much expectation whatsoever and backed up the lack of hype by losing to Alcorn State in the first game of the season. But after today’s win, they’re now 18-13 on the year, 10-8 in the ACC and can claim wins over a pair of top ten teams, Miami and Virginia.
It was only going to be a matter of time before Buzz got things rolling in Blacksburg, and it is certainly going to be fascinating to see how he is able to build on what has unequivocally been a successful season for him.