On a huge football day, Tech’s basketball team shocks the world

Georgia Tech's Justin Moore, right, celebrates with teammate Josh Okogie (5) after an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina, Saturday, Dec 31, 2016, in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 75-63. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Note happy Carolina fans in the background. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Depending on your perspective, it was either the best- or worst-scheduled game ever. Georgia Tech would play its biggest home game of Josh Pastner’s first season at noon on New Year’s Eve, an hour after Tech’s football team kicked off the TaxSlayer Bowl against Kentucky in Jacksonville. Three hours later, Alabama and Washington would play in the Chick-fil-Peach Bowl in a building 2.3 miles from McCamish Pavilion.

It was a bad bit of scheduling because it would be a game that almost nobody in Atlanta was watching, except for the part about Tech playing North Carolina, which nearly won the 2016 NCAA title and might win the 2017 NCAA title and which entered as an 18-point favorite. Had the Tar Heels come here and won by that many or more, it might have been fortuitous for Pastner and Co. that the result went unnoticed.

The actual result: Tech 75, Carolina 63.

Watching it unfold from one of the TVs — but only one; the others were tuned to the TaxSlayer doings — in the Georgia Dome press box, I did logistical calculations. Could I leave here, get to McCamish for the finish and be back by 3 p.m.? (No way, I decided.) Decision made, albeit with remorse, I watched the final four minutes on the one TV.

What little I saw was impressive stuff: The desperate Heels pressed, and Tech had none of it. The Jackets won going away. Which I never, ever thought could happen. I figured they’d do well to win three ACC games. They’ve already won one against the second-most talented team they’ll face. (They’ll see the most talented  Wednesday in Durham. Some schedule you handed Pastner, ACC overlords.)

Speaking of which: I know the 15-team ACC has to struggle to get 18 league games to fit into a regular season, thereby necessitating that one league game be played before New Year’s Day, but the conference — which has gotten really good at football, too — might want to rethink playing basketball on a day when football owns the airwaves.

I’ll close — Bama and U-Dub are about to have at it — by saying: If the Georgia Institute of Technology has ever had a better sports day, I don’t recall it.

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
Therut
Therut

Fantastic-Unbelievable-What a way to start the new year!

Peachs
Peachs

Gave my tickets away, was offered 100 a ticket ,but I wanted yellow in the seats.  May do it the rest of the season, if this is the results.  

GTDano
GTDano

Very bright future for GT & Josh Pastner! I haven't seen a better defensive game by GT in YEARS! CJP will bring back the good times reminiscent of the Cremins glory years - I'm convinced of that. After 2 more years of recruiting, GT will be a top choice for most top HS players. The best part of today's win over UNC was that it wasn't a fluke. GT willed its way to victory by making free throws, pounding the boards and playing smart in the final 5:00 of the game.

Peachs
Peachs

@GTDano Pastner has that boyish sincerity like Bobby.  I said a couple of weeks ago I like the way he coaches, hard nose, little substituting, and already hooking a battle tested tough NY City point guard.  I like his personal style too, he is a Tech type coach.

lvg
lvg

Hey Dogs  had a big win in the Toilet Bowl yesterday!

GTBee
GTBee

Probably not seeing that we won 2 big games in one day but during Cremin's days, we had a ton of spectacular days, and years. I remember beating Duke 3 times in 1 year in basketball. Has anyone else done that? I like Josh. Liked him day 1 when it was announced. We need to be patient, which will be tough, but it will pay off.

TOJacket
TOJacket

God bless the Jackets!!!!!......what a great New Year!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

That's not 'til tomorrow. Hey, maybe the Falcons will do their part to make it great!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket I'll celebrate New years when I want....nahh....Birds will rise up to the 2nd seed tomorrow, and maybe you will quit bitoching all the time.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

Great day to be a Yellow Jacket Fan!!


PJ and JP both earned their big $ today.


We Want Duke!!!!

GTBee
GTBee

We need to be patient. Remember NC A&T? Duke just lost. They will want to destroy us Weds. In due time.

GTroller
GTroller

Amazing what can be accomplished when you eliminate 4-5 hrs. per week chasing a little white ball around with a club.

GTBoro
GTBoro

First! Go Jackets!