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Despite one of the most talented squads in the ACC, the Georgia Tech basketball team can't separate itself from the pack. After a crushing 64-62 loss at the ACC's last place team Miami, Georgia Tech stands 17-7 and 5-5 in the conference, with a RPI somewhere in the high 20s to low 30s.
If selection to the NCAA's were today, the Jackets are in, but they are quickly slipping back towards the bubble.
The talent level on the Yellow Jackets team suggests they should be in the top 15. Three McDonald All-Americans, which includes consensus, top five High School player Derrick Favors. Paul Hewitt gets a C- thus far on the season, as I felt even a mediocre coaching job could get this team into the NCAAs. If Hewitt fails to get Georgia Tech to the Big Dance, he would grade out with an F in my eyes.
Considering the past several years of underachievement, I would hope Georgia Tech's athletic administration would find a way to make a change at the helm. That's a story for another time though, and that time would be if Georgia Tech doesn't make the tournament.
The Jackets have been in this position before, an unsightly loss followed by a great win followed by an ugly loss. Let's review...
Georgia Tech beats a good UNC Charlotte team on the road only to lose to a mediocre Georgia team the next game.
After the Georgia loss, the Jackets beat Duke. The Jackets lose to a Virginia team with inferior talent only to win at North Carolina in the next. This was before UNC imploded.
They lose a tough road game at FSU, no real shame there, only to come back and look spectacular against Wake Forest. Now the Jacket's backs are against the wall again. A loss in their next game at Wake Forest would drop them below .500 in the ACC. A high RPI won't be enough if they are below .500 in the conference.
I still believe this is a NCAA team, if they get to 8-8 in the ACC. Now is not time for Jackets to panic, but they've put themselves in a position where they will be fighting for their tournament lives the rest of the way out.