The Washington Times - March 12, 2009, 02:45PM

ATLANTA – The three-man band got some help today. And as a result, Virginia Tech survived to see another day.

The Hokies pummeled Miami 65-47 to advance to the first round. And while A.D. Vassallo and Malcolm Delaney were their usual selves, it was Dorenzo Hudson and J.T. Thompson who made the difference for Virginia Tech.

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Hudson hit a big 3-pointer early and kept Jack McClinton in check. Thompson had 12 points and eight rebounds to provide a significant lift.

It’s precisely the sort of performance Virginia Tech needed: Clean, dominant, complete and – best of all – against a fellow borderline NCAA tournament.

So the Hokies move on. Miami, meanwhile, heads off to the NIT to cap a disappointing season that began in the top 20. The Hurricanes aren’t quite on the same tier as Georgetown, Notre Dame and (increasingly less so) Kansas. But they’re close.

Virginia Tech won’t have to worry about that. Beat North Carolina tomorrow, and it’s a safe bet the Hokies will land somewhere in the 65-team field.

Patrick Stevens