Virginia Tech-Wake Forest: No. 1 Is Easy Come, Easy Go

Glenn PettyAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2009

VIRGINIA TECH 78, No. 1 WAKE FOREST 71—Wake Forest earned a trip to the top spot in the polls after beating North Carolina. They rolled into last night’s game against the Virginia Tech Hokies the last undefeated D-I hoops squad. Gone, and gone.

Come tournament time, there is always much talk about "quality wins" for teams on the NCAA bubble. That bubble burst for the Hokies last year, but this win should help move them back toward the Big Dance.

Malcolm Delaney scored 21 points, and Virginia Tech held on to upset top-ranked Wake Forest 78-71 on Wednesday night for its second victory over a No. 1 team in three seasons. The Hokies forced 16 turnovers and turned them into 25 points.

A.D. Vassallo (No. 40) and Jeff Allen added 16 points apiece for Tech (12-6, 3-1 ACC) while lighting up the league's best defense, shooting 50 percent against a Demon Deacon team that was allowing teams to shoot just 36 percent.

The upstart Hokies led nearly from the opening tip to the final buzzer, pushed their lead to 16, and made it stand up for their first win over a top-ranked team away from Cassell Coliseum. They beat then-No. 1 North Carolina two seasons ago in Blacksburg.

Wake’s top-notch guard Jeff Teague (No. 0) scored 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and James Johnson added 18 points before fouling out with 1:17 remaining for the Deacons (16-1, 3-1), who were playing as a No. 1 team for the first time since November 2004, when Chris Paul was still hanging out in Winston-Salem.

The game would not have been close if Virginia Tech hadn’t gone all Clemson from the free throw line. The Hokies made just 22 of 37 (59.5 percent) from the charity stripe.

(Photos by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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