Posted: 10:58 am Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Does Tech have any postseason hopes? 

By Ken Sugiura

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Brian Gregory, college basketball

Brian Gregory’s Yellow Jackets are 14-16 ahead of regular season finale.

I was at the Atlanta Sports Awards last night, where Falcons great Tommy Nobis was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Sports Council. (I covered the Falcons and the NFL for five years and got to know Mr. Nobis a little bit. A fearsome player, I’m told, and a humble gentleman. Very deserving.) As I was leaving, I was asked about Georgia Tech’s NIT chances. I don’t think they’ve got much chance, but I figured it’d be worth laying out.

I think to even merit consideration from the NIT, Tech would have to beat Virginia Tech Saturday and reach the finals of the ACC tournament, and then I still don’t think the Jackets would deserve a berth. As the ACC standings are going into Saturday’s games, that would mean beating Wake Forest in the first round Wednesday in a 12-13 game, Pittsburgh in the second Thursday, Duke in the quarterfinals on Friday and probably Virginia on Saturday. I don’t know what the odds are of that happening, but I’d say it’s fairly unlikely. (I guess while we’re drawing up this scenario, we might as well go ahead and point out that, if the Jackets reached the ACC finals, they would go to the NCAA tournament by winning it and be the lowest seed by far to win it. The lowest seed to win the tournament is a No. 6, done five times, including Tech in 1993.)

Regardless, that would give Tech a 19-17 record. But I’m still not sure the Jackets would deserve NIT consideration at that point. Their RPI, No. 151 now, might get to around 100 or 110. At that point, there would still be four ACC teams that, according to the latest ESPN bracket projection for the NCAA tournament, would likely be ahead of Tech for NIT consideration – Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State and Maryland. You could also include Wake Forest, which has beaten Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State.

So that’s five teams from just one conference in a 32-team field that, after automatic bids to regular-season conference champions who don’t get into the NCAA tournament, might have room for 22 at-large team. It’s hard to see it happening. (As I’ve said before, every winnable game that Tech lost this season – including St. John’s, Vanderbilt, N.C. State, the first Clemson game, the second Notre Dame game – has proven to be costly from a postseason perspective.)

The other, more likely possibility is the College Basketball Invitational. If you’re not familiar, it’s a 32-team tournament that began in 2008. It’s largely the province of mid-majors snubbed by the NIT.

It is a pay-for-play tournament – the school has to guarantee a certain amount in ticket sales – and no ACC team has played in it since the first CBI in 2008. Last year, then-acting athletic director Paul Griffin said school policy was that the Yellow Jackets would only play in the NCAA or NIT tournaments. It’s possible that could change with a new athletic director (Mike Bobinski) in charge.

“We’d at least take a look at what our options are,” senior associate athletic director Ryan Bamford said Wednesday.

I would think that Tech would be taken if it were interested. Last year, two BCS conference teams played in it, both with sub-.500 records – Purdue (15-17) and Texas (16-17).

I can see where the CBI could be seen as being beneath Tech, kind of like going to a low-grade bowl, or that the team hadn’t achieved enough to continue play, but I think if the team wanted to play – which I imagine players would – I don’t see the harm. More experience in any sort of win-or-go-home environment is valuable, and it’d be a nice parting gift for the team’s seniors, if in fact they wanted it.

The potential risk, I’d think, would be losing to a school nobody knows anything about, which I’d say is not an unreasonable possibility. Texas lost in the first round last year, albeit at Houston, and Purdue lost in the second round. It would leave a bad taste, in the same way that the back-to-back losses to Boston College did last year following the win over Miami.

What do you think?

29 comments
Averys-No1GT-Man
Averys-No1GT-Man

Radar123, GIVE ME A BREAK. i AM SO SICK OF THESE BANDWAGON FOOTBALL FANS AND GUESS WHAT WE DON'T NEED YOUR SUPPORT OR WANT IT! EVEN OUR AD IS IN FULL SUPPORT OF JOHNSON AND HE WILL BE SIGNED TO ANOTHER CONTRACT BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS NEXT YEAR. COMPARING JOHNSON TO GREGORY WHAT A JOKE! CPJ HAS THE 4TH BEST RECORD IN THE ACC OVER THE PAST 5 SEASONS. 1. FSU 2. CLEMSON (WHICH ARE IN THE ATLANTIC DIVISION) 3. VA.TECH 4. GA.TECH 5. MIAMI 6. UNC AND SO ON. EVERY YEAR JOHNSON HAS BEEN AT TECH WE HAVE GONE INTO THE LAST WEEK OF CONFERENCE PLAY WITH A CHANCE TO WIN THE COASTAL DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP. WHAT HAS GREGORY DONE? GOTTEN WORSE EACH YEAR. GT HAD THE TALENT TO MAKE THE NCAA THIS SEASON AND WE DID NOT COME CLOSE. PLUS WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GREGORY DOING GIVING MINUTES TO DOYLE AND WARNER WITH STACEY POOLE JR. ON THE BENCH. I DO LIKE THE WAY HEYWARD TAKES CAR OF THE BALL AND RUNS THE OFFENSE BUT MY GOODNESS HE IS NOT A THREAT TO SCORE AT ALL. SO WHEN WE GO INTO THESE 6-9 MINUTE SCORING DROUGHTS THAT WE GO IN EVERY GAME BUT THE LAST 2 WHY DOESN'T HE REPLACE HEYWARD WITH SOMEONE THAT CAN SCORE LIKE S.POOLE JR. GREGORY NEEDS TO GO AT THE END OF THE SEASON AND WE NEED TO OFFER THE HEAD COACHING JOB TO  MARK PRICE. GIVE ME A BREAK ENOUGH ABOUT JOHNSON OUR AD LAID OUT WHY HE IS PLEASED WITH HIM AND SO AM I AND SO ARE MOST OF THE DIE HARD TECH FANS. YOU JUST HAVE A FEW THAT ARE SO CALLED DIE HARD FANS THAT WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING. THEY EVEN COMPLAINED O'LEARY'S LAST SEASON AND O'LEARY IS THE MOST UNDERRATED COACH IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. WHAT HE'S DONE AT UCF IS INCREDIBLE. NOW THAT IS THE ONLY COACH I WOULD TAKE OVER JOHNSON. HECK JOHNSON ONLY HAD 1 FULL-TIME RECRUITER UNTIL OUR NEW AD ARRIVED AND NOW WE HAVE 4 AND IF UNC ,MIAMI, UNC, OR EVEN NCST WOULD HAVE HAD THE RECRUITING CLASS WE HAD THIS YEAR IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A TOP 30 CLASS. THIS CLASS WILL PROVE TO BE A TERRIFIC CLASS. THE BEST OVERALL CLASS TECH HAS HAD IN MANY YEARS. THANKS TO OUR NEW AD GIVING JOHNSON MORE THAN 1 FT RECRUITER.  GO JACKETS! I'M NOT LIKE THESE PEOPLE BASHING CPJ I LOVE TECH AND EVEN THOUGH I THING GREGORY DESERVES TO BE FIRED I AM STILL PULLING FOR HIM AND THE JACKETS TO PULL OF THE MIRACLE LIKE UGA DID WHEN THEY WON THE SEC TOURNAMENT AT THE THRILLER DOME BACK WHEN THE TORNADO HIT ATLANTA. THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRUE GA.TECH FAN AND A BANDWAGON FAN. 

Radar123
Radar123

Who cares about the post season?

Tech cannot beat Uga except in basketball.

Gregory is doing pretty good there.

And if the team wants to do CBI, I think they will.

They are just starting to jell.

JacketMan
JacketMan

The only way the Tech men's basketball team makes any post-season game is if they win the ACC Tourneyment. In other words, their chances are slim and none.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

Tech has a manic-depression team going on now after the manic Syracuse win. There have been many depressive games this year. An inconsistent team like that is just what it is: manic-depressive, mentally ill. I don't know if it would be advisable to have an ill team participate in any postseason play. The manic win reminded me of when Tech had Rich Yunkus the center who Miller played like in the win. Tech went to the NIT and to the finals and lost to NC. But Yunkus was the Tech star for the entire season, not just in the end like Miller has done.

gt-40
gt-40

I think Slim just left town.....

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Only post-season b'ball possible for GT is the NCAA - and that isn't going to happen

Radar123
Radar123

If Johnson wanted me to go positive on Tech football, he needed to beat Uga and follow with a bowl win.

He goes for it on 4th in his own territory (vs VT) and fails to when he has a long field behind him.

At the Uga 5 on 4th down in the 2nd quarter up 17-0, he needs to go for it.

Score and we are up 24-0.

Fail and Uga stays bottled up with their rookie QB.

Uga gets the ball first in the 2nd half.

The made FG proved to be worthless.

It provided them decent field position after the kickoff and their QB relaxed and went on to win.

Johnson infuriates by going for it on 4th at the Tech 38 vs VT.

Keep Gregory but can Johnson.

But we can't afford to pay him so we are stuck.

I'm coming back for basketball but not football.

Johnson has blown two good opportunities to beat Uga - 2009 and 2013.

If u cannot beat your arch-rival, u got nothing.

Gregory can and Johnson can't.

Radar123
Radar123

Beating Cuse put a smile on my face and I've gone positive.

If nothing else, Gregory is 3-0 vs the Dawgs with two of the three played in Athens where we had not won since 1996 prior to those two wins there.

Since no other Tech coach is that successful vs the Dawgs and Fox is a pretty good coach, there is something to be said for that.

With Carter Jr and Golden back, we should play a lot better.

Some of u have forgotten how to smile.

ToeMeetsLeather
ToeMeetsLeather

This is kind of like the "hopes" that I had that the hair would grow back on the top of my head, not going to happen though. Unless of course I pay for it, kind of like the CBI.

AntoineFord
AntoineFord

Tech doesn't even deserve an invitation to ACC tourney.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Gregory will b fired after next season....I think Hewitts money and Gaileys money will be clear too. I mite be wrong about Hewitts money.

GTinCT
GTinCT

I'm hearing "The Horse" played at more and more college basketball games.  Did Tech start that?

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

Ken, did you mean the semis instead of the finals?  If we make it to the semis and lose we would be 18-17.  If we make the finals we would be 19-17 and we would definitely be in the NIT.


Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

I think if we make the ACC Semifinals we have a strong chance at the NIT.  From what I heard Gregory say yesterday, if we get a chance to play in ANY post season tourney we will do so.


Now, I believe the ACC will get 6 and maybe 7 teams in the NCAA.  The top 4 are a lock, Clemson and Pittsburgh should both be in and the winner between them this weekend should be a lock.  The loser will likely be "on the bubble".  FSU is on the bubble but can possibly clinch a berth with a win against the 'Cuse Saturday.  

If NCSt beats BC they are on the bubble and if Maryland beats UVA they are also.   I just don't think either will get the nod so they will be NIT bound.  That leaves Miami, Wake, ND and GT hoping for a couple of NIT slots.  And if we have just made it to the semis with some obvious quality wins we could leap up and grab one of them.


Let's just focus on beating a horrible VT on Senior Day Saturday.  We lose that one and all is lost.

Radar123
Radar123

I agree Ken.

It should be up to the players concerning the CBI tournament.

Finally on topic?

Radar123
Radar123

More from "Dodd's Luck", wanted or not.

"Dodd recalls one particular phone call from his secretary, Margie Bennett. 'I was only making about twenty-five thousand then but she told me that for the previous year, I had deposited sixty-nine thousand dollars in the bank,' Dodd said. "The rest of the money was from golf and poker.'" (1949)

Nowadays we like to pay taxes through the Georgia Lottery. Then the alums liked to pay Dodd by getting to play a round of golf with him and usually losing their bets.

Luckily for Tech, Dodd lost $700 in one match due to losing his skill at golf from time spent coaching and took up tennis.

The glory years of 1952-56 might never had happened had any powerful alums used the gambling as reason to fire him after a bad year.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

I just want to see us make some type of tournament run.  Last year was depressing seeing us lose twice to Boston College coming off of that huge win at Miami.  I believe we opened up the ACC tournament game against BC with a 15-0 lead.

Radar123
Radar123

We need to win at least two more now that Gregory's best players are back and no excuses remain.

One thing about the two big upsets (Miami and Syracuse) is they were road games.

The season ticket holders are not being rewarded much.

Watching USCe play Ky, I could relate as there was a lot of Ky blue in the crowd.

So I had to pull for USC and was delighted they won.

That was very important for those season ticket holders who did not bail out on the team as Tech fans do so much these. Those fans who went could chide those next to them who sold the next time they saw them with "boy u missed the upset of the decade if not the last 50 years. I guess u needed the money."

Or am I the only one pissed with the bail out, get a refund crowd.

Dodd as a player is described on page 56 of "Dodd's Luck" as having an "abnormal mentality, his magnificent physical equipment (in spite of being slow) and his nerve of cold steel that made them (the winning TDs) possible."

Golden possessed a nerve of cold steel to nail 6 straight free throws that sealed the upset, stealing the show from others the scouts were there to see. Maybe we should teach to step up and shoot quickly before the crowd can bother you.

Can we get his parents to the VT game as well as the tourney?

POAD2013
POAD2013

TECH has to at least play for the ACC Tournament Championship to get a bid to the NCAA.

juvenal
juvenal

Nobis was awesome.......

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

Win the ACC tournament and problem is solved.  Might as well play loose---if we lose we go home---so play all out as if it's your last game as it well may be.

Greentow
Greentow

@drydirtroad Did you see Yunkus play?  I did, and while Miller has been good, I really don't think he has been anything like Yunkus.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@drydirtroad MIller has played great throughout the season.  Sure there's been a few games where he has struggled, but if you're implying he's only come out strong during the past few games, I'm afraid you're mistaken.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Radar123

GT hadn't won in Athens since 1976.  Bobby never won there - although he beat UGA plenty of times in the Omni.

BearCasey
BearCasey

@AntoineFord Once again, Antoine, you open your mouth and subtract from the sum of human knowledge.

juvenal
juvenal

imagine cpj beat the #7 team in the country....

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

@POAD2013  We must win the ACC tourney to get an NCAA bid.  I think Ken is wrong though.  I think if we make the ACC semis we would get an NIT Bid.  We would be 18-17 overall.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@juvenal  as a Player but even more as a MAN. Hs work has touched so many lives.