Alright, let’s get it out of the way...that loss sucked. We played a solid first half and then either we just wore down from playing two in a row or VT just starting hitting its shots or whatever else you want to blame. There are articles and recaps that focus on the game and what went wrong, if you like.
This is not that article. This article is a reminder about what’s gone right. Here’s a flashback to the preseason:
Bleacher Report grouped Wake as one of the ACC’s three “bottom feeders,” and predicted Wake would finish 14th out of 15. The ACC sports media placed Wake 13th and closer to last place BC than to 12th place Pitt. ESPN went with 13th too. Even the beloved and trusted KenPom put Wake at preseason #76, 13th in the ACC with a projected 12-16 (6-12) record.
Duke and UNC voted 1 & 2 in #ACC preseason hoops poll. NC State 6th, Wake Forest 13th.— Jeff Gravley (@jgravleyWRAL) October 26, 2016
None of that was shocking at the time; Wake had just gone an embarrassing 11-20 overall and a dismal 2-16 in ACC play. Plus, the team graduated its two senior leaders, CMM and Devin Thomas. The comments on the BSD story about preseason KenPom rankings showed a typical range of responses. For the most part, the more optimistic Wake fans were thinking NIT and a good chunk of the rest of us were thinking that was a stretch.
NOW CHECK OUT YOUR DEACS, BABY!
Wake has 19 wins so far, including 10 in the loaded ACC. They reeled off a 4 game ACC winning streak, including a win over top 10 Louisville followed by a road win at NCAA team VT on senior night. The first round victory over BC was Wake’s 7th win in 10 ACC games.
Storm the court! Wake wins 88-81!!! pic.twitter.com/1ggKGJbLNF— Brian Formica (@BrianFormica) March 2, 2017
You can’t know until you know, but despite the setback last night the odds are that Wake will be playing in the NCAA tournament this year for the first time in 7 years. It’s crazy that it’s been so long, and it’s crazy that we can end the drought one year after winning 2 ACC games total.
Either way, Danny Manning has his squad, one of my favorite groups of Deacs in a long time, playing its best basketball at the end of the season.
It’s been a while since we could get hyped about the Deacs in March. Relish it!