Loss to Hokies completes Jackets' slide

If you're a coach presiding over a talented but disappointing team, calling out fans and media on Twitter is never a good idea. It's even less of a good idea if your team fails to back up it on the court.

Such is the lesson learned by Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who took to his Twitter account two weeks ago in the hopes of scolding assorted Georgia Tech stakeholders -- local media, critical fans, and so on -- about "quitting" on this year's decidedly fading Yellow Jackets. After today's loss to Virginia Tech at home, those Yellow Jackets have officially gone from potential Sweet 16 team to early tournament flame-out -- if they make the tournament at all.

Hewitt's team is filled with talent, talent that, for whatever reason, hasn't congealed over time. Instead, they seem to be getting worse. Georgia Tech has lost five of its past seven, and uber-talented forwards Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal haven't developed into the dominant frontcourt attack promised when Favors, a McDonald's All-American and surefire 2010 lottery pick, committed to Hewitt last year.

The next concern, as always, is the NCAA tournament. Joe Lunardi has listed Georgia Tech as a No. 10 seed in his latest bracket, which was drawn up before today's loss. It seems unlikely Georgia Tech would fall out of the tournament merely thanks to today's misfortune; they've been a steady inclusion since the season started, after all, and there are plenty of bubble teams doing their best to keep the field friendly to fading squads like the Yellow Jackets. It probably also helps that the selection committee isn't explicitly valuing in a team's last 12 games as more important than its early season performance, as in past years.

But a bad loss in the ACC tournament will make the selection committee -- and Georgia Tech fans, and Paul Hewitt -- awfully nervous. For good reason.