Yellow Jackets end regular season with trips to Wake Forest, Virginia

Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire on the sideline during Wednesday's game against Clemson at McCamish Pavilion.

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire on the sideline during Wednesday's game against Clemson at McCamish Pavilion.

Georgia Tech enters the final week of the regular season feeling pretty good about itself. But a tough road, literally and figuratively, remains.

The Yellow Jackets (13-16, 6-12 ACC), thanks to an 85-76 victory over Florida State in the home finale, are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since December. They’ve won 3 of 4 overall and have an outside shot of finishing as high as 11th place in the ACC standings.

Before beginning postseason play they have the put a bow on the regular season with a trip to Wake Forest Tuesday and a trip to Virginia on Saturday, two opponents in the top half of the league standings who each have national postseason aspirations.

“I’m excited because I do think that we’re a scary team,” Tech coach Damon Stoudamire said after Saturday’s win over FSU. “The thing about it is we’ve proven we can beat anybody, but we’ve proven we can lose to anybody, too. I just think we’re playing the right way and you got guys connected. I don’t know if we’ve always had guys connected to where they’re playing for each other each and every day.”

Stoudamire’s squad has been all over the map this season when it comes to results, whether it was beating ranked teams like Mississippi State, Duke or North Carolina or losing at home to UMass-Lowell or getting blown out by Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest. The latter one of those teams may have indirectly helped turn Tech’s fortunes around, Stoudamire said Monday during the league’s weekly teleconference.

The Jackets are 3-3 since losing to Wake in early February.

“We talked about some things after that (Wake Forest) game,” Stoudamire said. “To me we’ve been good ever since. With the exception of (the 24-point loss to Clemson) we’ve been pretty good. I just see the buy-in a little more and I see guys connected a little more. I think that’s been the biggest thing.”

Wake Forest is a team hanging by a thread when it comes to earning an NCAA Tournament at-large bid after the Demon Deacons (18-11, 10-8 ACC) suffered two critical losses last week at Notre Dame and at Virginia Tech, respectively. Wake has an NCAA NET ranking of 31, but now sits in a three-way tie for fifth in the ACC standings.

On Feb. 6, Wake went to Atlanta and handed Tech one of its worst losses of the season in an 80-51 blowout. The Deacons led by as many as 38 points and shot 46% percent from the field.

“We lost to them pretty bad and I’m looking forward to seeing how our guys respond to that,” Stoudamire said Saturday. “It was embarrassing, and they beat us handily from the tip. I just wanna see how we respond.”

Tech is scheduled to play at Virginia (21-9, 12-7 ACC) at 8 p.m. Saturday before starting the ACC tournament March 12. The Jackets would be the 13 seed in that event if the season ended today.