Wednesday, March 5, 2008

VIRGINIA TECH 80, WAKE FOREST 58

By Adam Kilgore - Washington Post Staff Writer

Sitting behind the baseline, Denise Washington watched her son, Deron, play the final home game of his career. She had waved her maroon-and-orange pompom for the entire first half, marveling at the scene unfolding: a blowout victory by a team hitting its peak.

"I feel good right now," she said. "This is what it's supposed to be like."

Virginia Tech could hardly have asked for more in its 80-58 victory Tuesday night over Wake Forest at Cassell Coliseum. Coming off a 19-point win over Boston College last week, the Hokies offered a convincing argument for a NCAA tournament berth by crushing Wake Forest for their fourth straight win. Playing on Senior Day, Deron Washington led Virginia Tech with a season-high 22 points.

"It was one of those special nights," Seth Greenberg said. "That's why you coach."

Virginia Tech (18-11, 9-6) bolstered its aspirations for both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. The Hokies ascended to No. 57 in the Ratings Percentage Index entering Tuesday and, playing the best they have all season, are missing only a signature win on their résumé.

A showdown Sunday at third-place Clemson, No. 19 in the RPI, will provide an opportunity to change that. A win Sunday -- or a loss by Miami, which finishes with Boston College and Florida State -- would also give Virginia Tech a first-round bye in the ACC tournament. It would be Virginia Tech's third tournament bye in four years since joining the league.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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