ATLANTA — MaChelle Joseph conducted Georgia Tech’s practice wearing a shirt that celebrated another trip to the NCAA Tournament. “Together We Dance,” it said on the back.
Of course, making it this far is nothing new for the Yellow Jackets.
Dancing for more than a week has always been the issue.
Georgia Tech (24-8) has never made it past the second round, keeping the program from gaining more national recognition despite six consecutive NCAA appearances.
For Joseph, the team’s ninth-year coach, getting to the tournament is no longer good enough. The Yellow Jackets need to take the next step – to win at least two tournament games and advance to the round of 16 for the first time.
“That’s something we’ve talked about all year,” Joseph said Thursday.
The Yellow Jackets are better positioned to make such a run than ever before.
This team is on quite a roll, having won 15 of 17 games and going to the wire with fifth-ranked Maryland before losing a 68-65 thriller in the championship game at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Then Georgia Tech received a No. 4 seed, its highest ever in the tournament, and was sent to the very familiar surroundings of Chapel Hill, N.C., for an opening-round game against 13th-seeded Sacred Heart (25-7) on Sunday.