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Virginia Tech To Face George Mason In 2011 NIT Tipoff Tournament, According To Report

Virginia Tech has received plenty of criticism over the years for not playing a difficult non-conference schedule and specifically for not playing teams from the Colonial Athletic Association. Many believe that this is the reason they have been on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble these past three seasons.

In an attempt to change that, the Hokies have scheduled a game with George Mason, according to Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post. The Hokies and Patriots will play in Blacksburg in the opening round of the NIT Tipoff Tournament to begin the season. It's part of a four-team pod that will determine which team heads to New York and play in the semifinals.

The two teams have not played since 1992, so this is a big step for both. George Mason is expected to return most of its roster, while Virginia Tech will suffer heavy graduation losses. The Hokies will also be playing in the BB&T Classic against Temple, who lost in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.