The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team nabbed a no.-10 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. They will kick off the tournament in the South Region with the first game of the day Friday against seventh-seeded Florida at 12:15 on CBS.
The Hokies went 15-6 for the 2020-21 season, 9-4 in the ACC, which landed them a No.-3 seed in the league championship tournament.
Asked about his reaction to seeing Virginia Tech’s name on the bracket, head coach Mike Young said. “To me, it’s never been about the reaction to the seed, but rather enjoying the reaction of our kids when they see Virginia Tech pop up on the screen. This has been one of the most enjoyable groups I’ve had in my 30-plus years as a coach. These guys have always been about the team, and they have improved over the long haul of the season. They have weathered every storm thrown at them, and I expect them to continue to do the same when we get to Indianapolis.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity to be a part of this year’s NCAA Tournament,” Young said. “There are so many people outside of this team that have made sacrifices to make this possible. From our leadership here at Virginia Tech, the ACC, the medical staff and so many others that made playing these games possible. We are very thankful.”
Asked if he had watched Florida at all this year and what his first impressions of the Gators was, the head Hokie said, “I have not seen Florida play much this year, other than peeking at a few games here and there. Their program was obviously in our thoughts earlier this year with Keyontae [Johnson], and I have a tremendous amount of respect for their program and the job Coach [Mike] White has done.”
Graduate transfer forward Cordell Pemsl was asked what went through his head when he saw Tech’s name pop up on Selection Sunday. He said, “This was my first time being able to participate in the [NCAA] Tournament, so I’m just happy and blessed. This is an opportunity for us in March to come out and make some noise. Everyone knows at this point that anything can happen. If we play hard and leave it all on the table, we will be able to go down and get some wins.”
About Florida, Pemsl said, “I haven’t gotten to watch Florida much this year. Honestly, I’ve been focusing more on us, and I’ve watched my boys back in Iowa. I haven’t gotten the chance to watch Florida. I know Tre Mann is solid, that’s their guy. We will obviously start watching film and start preparing for them this week and get ready for Friday.”
Freshman forward David N’Guessan called it “pretty exciting” to see Tech’s name in the tournament brackets. “It’s my first time playing in March Madness after watching it on TV over the years. So I’m pretty pumped to be in it this year with the chance to compete with the best in college basketball.”