After a season of good and bad basketball, the Deacs once again found themselves in a familiar spot on a weekday afternoon in early March---sitting at home until next November as the No. 14 Virginia Tech Hokies upset the No.11 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 81-80 in a 2:30 first round game in the ACC Tournament.
Wake bounced back from a 41-31 halftime deficit with hot shooting and clutch rebounding to lead throughout much of the second half.
After a Devin Wilson contested layup over Aaron Rountree with 11 seconds left gave the Hokies an 81-80 lead, Codi Miller-McIntyre raced up the court and had the ball deflected out of bounds. The ball appeared to graze CMM's arm, but after a lengthy review the Deacs kept the ball with 6 seconds remaining.
The insuing pass was inbounded to Dinos Mitoglou who took a contested shot from the corner that bounced high, tipped to Thomas, who laid the ball high off the glass and just off the front of the rim.
A last second deflection up again hit off the front of the rim giving the Hokies a Tuesday afternoon victory in Greensboro.
Virginia Tech was led by Devin Wilson's career high 32 points. He came into the game averaging a shade of 6 PPG.
The Deacs struggled immensely to rebound against a team that has ranked near the bottom of the NCAA all year in grabbing boards.
The biggest problem was the horrific defense that saw uncontested layup after uncontested layup for the Hokies. It was probably the worst defensive game I have seen all year, especially on the pick-and-roll that tore apart the Deacs interior defense.
Jr. Codi Miller-McIntyre led the Deacs with 23 points, 11 assists, 4 rebounds. Thomas chipped in 22 points, 9 boards, and 2 assists.
This is the seventh year out of eight that the Deacs have lost in its first game of the ACC Tournament.
Wake Forest ends its first year under Danny Manning at 13-19 (5-14 ACC), and an entire summer to grow and improve on the shortcomings of this past year.