The No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers suffered their second straight loss to an unranked team Saturday, falling 68-64 to Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
The Cavaliers fell behind five minutes into the first half and couldn’t get in a groove until late in the second half, tying the game at 49-49 on a 7-0 run with 6:10 remaining. But Georgia Tech immediately answered with an 11-point outburst, which included three straight three-pointers that gave the Yellow Jackets the cushion needed to ride to victory.
Virginia didn’t get much help aside from Malcolm Brogdon, and even he hurt the Cavaliers' chances most of the way. Brogdon finished with 19 points but was just 1-of-9 on three-pointers.
The Cavaliers collectively were 4-of-18 from beyond the arc and shot 40.4 percent overall. Virginia head coach Tony Bennett used a different starting lineup for the first time in six games, according to Whitey Reid of the Daily Progress, "replacing Isaiah Wilkins and Darius Thompson with Mike Tobey and Marial Shayok."
Georgia Tech advanced to a respectable 11-5 on the season and could creep into next week’s Associated Press Top 25 following Saturday’s convincing win.
Virginia should tumble out of the Top 10 after losing its second game this week, a pair that included a 70-68 loss to archrival Virginia Tech on Monday.
As Jeff Goodman of ESPN noted, they weren’t necessarily respectable losses:
Virginia has now lost two straight to a pair of likely non-NCAA tourney teams: Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.... https://t.co/dn7ocSxmSB— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 9, 2016
The Cavaliers are now on their first losing streak since 2013.
Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory said Saturday's win was the biggest in his Yellow Jackets tenure, aside from beating the Georgia Bulldogs, per Blaine Kummet of Fox 5:
Adam Smith was one of three players to lead the Yellow Jackets with 16 points, and he knew it would take quite a performance to pull off the upset, per Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball:
"That's the ACC: every night it's going to be competitive against great coaches and players." - Adam Smith— GT Men's Basketball (@GTMBB) January 9, 2016
Marcus Georges-Hunt and Quinton Stephens noted the home crowd at Hank McCamish Pavilion also made a huge impact, per GT Men’s Basketball:
"Chills when through me when I saw the support from @GTStudents coming back early. They helped us today." - Marcus Georges-Hunt— GT Men's Basketball (@GTMBB) January 9, 2016
"(The crowd) was awesome. It was a great atmosphere. Hearing @GTStudents really gets us going." - Quinton Stephens— GT Men's Basketball (@GTMBB) January 9, 2016
Virginia returns to action Tuesday against Miami, while Georgia Tech plays next at Notre Dame on Wednesday.