Georgia Tech 80,
-- Not much separates Virginia's and Georgia Tech's men's basketball teams -- the deciding factor between the two is the site of the game. Both are unbeaten at home. Both are helpless on the road.
That trend continued today at Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Cavaliers allowed an early lead to slip away and fell to 1-6 on the road.
The Yellow Jackets, who improved to 10-0 at home, thumped their second consecutive ACC foe here with an 80-60 victory before 8,850.
As Virginia continues to battle its road demons -- it suffered its ninth straight ACC road loss -- an NCAA tournament berth begins to look more elusive. The Cavaliers (12-7, 3-4) dropped into sixth place in the conference entering Thursday's road game at No. 10 Maryland, the conference leader at 6-1.
Virginia turned over the ball 19 times -- 12 in the first half -- leading to 25 points by Georgia Tech.
"I thought the story of the game, from my perspective, was our turnovers," Virginia Coach Pete Gillen said. "We had a brief lead at 16-12 in the first half, then bing-bam-boom, turnovers and the roof caved in."
Georgia Tech's young team (11-7, 4-3), which is 0-6 on the road, won for the sixth time in eight games and for the second time in a row coming off Wednesday's 88-68 home victory over North Carolina.
Germantown's Marvin Lewis scored a game-high 25 points, making 5 of 10 three-pointers for Georgia Tech, and much heralded 6-foot-10 freshman Chris Bosh scored 22 points, making 9 of 15 shots.
The Yellow Jackets seemed to feed off the crowd, which grew louder as the game progressed.
Meantime, Virginia often looked passive and was never closer than 10 points in the second half.
Frustration boiled over in the final minute as Virginia's Nick Vander Laan received a technical foul for shoving a Georgia Tech player.
Virginia also was hurt by a sub-par night by senior forward Travis Watson. Watson, who has averaged 16.2 points in conference games, netted four on 2-of-8 shooting, but had 11 rebounds.
Gillen mentioned the size and athleticism of the Yellow Jackets' interior defenders, 7-1 Luke Schenscher and Bosh. But Watson said he is used to that kind of competition in the ACC.
"A lot of times, I didn't touch the ball," Watson said. "When I did, I got double-teamed and I'd pass it. I was trying to be a decoy for other players."
Virginia built an early 14-7 lead, then seemingly forgot how to score. After Watson made his first basket with 11 minutes 29 seconds left in the half to put Virginia ahead, 16-12, the Cavaliers failed to make a field goal until Derrick Byars pulled them back within five with 4:10 left before halftime. Byars collided with Geogia Tech's B.J. Elder late in the game and ended the game with his shoulder iced. Gillen said he "popped it out, but it popped back in."
Trying not to make excuses, Gillen cited Virginia's youth as a factor in its poor road record and pointed out that its other losses have been more competitive than this season-worst effort.
"Somebody told me a stat before the game -- this is a stat, not an excuse -- that the top six teams in the ACC were 19-0 at home coming into this game," he said. "Now they're 20-0."