The Yellow Jackets lost 2-1 to the Panthers, who were making their first-ever appearance in the tournament. Tech has one more game in pool play – Friday against top-seeded North Carolina – but cannot advance. The best that the Yellow Jackets can do is 1-1, and that would be in the event of a three-way tie with the Tar Heels and Panthers. In that scenario, North Carolina would win the tiebreaker as the highest seed and advance to the tournament semifinal.
At 31-26, Tech’s chances of making it into the NCAA tournament appear dim, even if they can upset North Carolina (No. 6 in RPI) on Friday. Should that be Tech’s fate, the Jackets will have missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in the past four seasons, an aberrant stretch for a team for which tournament berths were once a given.