NCAA Tournament Will Define Georgia Tech's Up and Down Season

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IMarch 14, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Paul Hewitt, head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets watches in a game against the University of the North Carolina Tarheels in their first round game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Georgia Tech came into Greensboro, NC for the ACC Tournament squarely on the bubble. They leave coming within four points of an ACC Championship.

After two straight losses to finish the regular season, the Yellow Jackets had fallen to 7-9 in conference play with a talent-laden team many thought, including head coach Paul Hewitt, would compete for an ACC title.

Well they did just that on Sunday, down just three with a minute to go, hoping to match their football classmates with an ACC Championship. Hewitt’s team rose to meet the adversity they had largely brought upon themselves.

Hewitt’s critics have been numerous this year, and I have been one of them at times . He now takes a team who nearly won a conference title into the NCAA Tournament with the knowledge that his team can still play a lot better (Tech set an ACC Tournament record for turnovers).

But you can believe those critics will be boisterous once again if Georgia Tech is upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Which brings me to the question: What defines a season in college basketball? Is it a good regular season? A good conference tournament showing? Or the NCAAs?

Ask Wake Forest, who last year made it all the way to number one in the country and finished tied for second in the conference at 11-5. But the Demon Deacons lost their first ACC Tournament game to seventh seeded Maryland and then lost to 13 seed Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Was that a good season for Wake or a disappointing one?

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich earlier this week said any discussion regarding the future of Georgia Tech basketball would be held after this season. He went on to say the most important games of the season lie ahead.

Regardless of what happened in the regular season or in Greensboro, this next week (or two) will define Georgia Tech’s season.