9. Virginia Tech (6-3, 1-0)
This Virginia Tech program has been trending in a good direction across the last decade, albeit under two very different head coaches. Buzz Williams put the Hokies on the road towards success and current head coach Mike Young has done his best to continue that momentum. These Hokies missed the Big Dance last season after five straight appearances, but does this year’s team really have the juice to get back there again?
Virginia Tech had a great opportunity down at the ESPN Events Invitational and took advantage, winning games over Bois State and Iowa State to make the title game. A 34-point loss to Florida Atlantic in said title game squandered some of that goodwill, followed up by another blowout loss against Auburn just a week ago. The Hokies have won at home, even against Louisville in their initial ACC contest, but the team certainly hasn’t been without faults.
Hunter Cattoor and Sean Pedulla are still great pieces for the Hokies and Lynn Kidd is also putting up great numbers earlier, but what exactly is their ceiling with this lineup? Virginia Tech hasn’t really looked dominant at any point this season, aside from some points in that win over a feisty Cyclones team in Florida. Those recent blowouts seem to indicate that the Hokies are another ACC squad that can win plenty of games but are a few steps below the top teams in these power conference leagues, especially if their recent shooting slump continues.