Virginia was on the road on Sunday, so should we give them the benefit of the doubt? No way.
The Cavaliers lost a game that they needed to have on the road at Georgia Tech. Despite playing away from home in the heat of the conference schedule, there is no excuse for Virginia’s loss. That was a game that they needed to have.
The win for the Yellow Jackets marked just their second conference victory on the season, snapping a four-game Virginia winning streak in the process. Just last week, UVA picked up their biggest win of the season, shocking No. 19 North Carolina State at home. While the win over the Wolfpack was a major boost for their resume and an exceptional step forward, the Cavaliers virtually took two steps back with the loss to Georgia Tech.
It’s not worth bashing the Yellow Jackets’ struggles, but for a Virginia squad that has asserted themselves within the thick of things in the upper half of the ACC, the loss is devastating. The Cavaliers could very well find themselves on the bubble come March, so there is no time to dwell on the loss to Georgia Tech.
Virginia must take the hit and move forward and that starts when Clemson comes to town on Thursday. If the Cavaliers are going to dance, that’s a game that they need to have. Wins will be crucial for Virginia down the stretch.
Their best non-conference win came against Wisconsin and the win over N.C. State certainly gives UVA something to hang their hats. However, three losses to teams in the CAA in the non-conference portion of the schedule and three losses to teams that are currently below them in the ACC standings raise a few question marks.
Bottom line is this: Virginia can dance come March, but they must avoid losing games that they should win. There is work to do down the stretch for the Cavaliers and only time will tell if they are worthy making the NCAA Tournament.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS