- - Saturday, March 3, 2012

BLACKSBURG, Va. — As the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team rode the bus back from Duke last week, after another down-to-the-wire, punch-in-the-gut loss, the only senior to play for the Hokies that night said something to his teammates.

“He said, ‘It’s R.I.P. to Zo after two,’” sophomore Jarell Eddie recalled Dorenzo Hudson saying on the ride from Durham on Feb. 25.

Now, Hudson has just one regular-season game remaining, and it’s his final home contest in Cassell Coliseum.

“I think I was kind of reminding myself,” Hudson said. “‘It’s coming to an end.’”

Virginia Tech hosts North Carolina State (19-11, 8-7 ACC) Saturday at 6 p.m., senior night for Hudson, Victor Davila, walk-on Joey Racer and Hudson’s cousin, JT Thompson.

Davila has missed the last five games because of a groin injury. It is unclear whether he’ll give Tech any minutes tonight, though coach Seth Greenberg said he’d be open to giving Davila a ceremonial start if that’s all the 6-foot-8, 242-pounder could do.

Racer has seen action in just five games.

Thompson has missed the past two seasons after a pair of knee injuries.

Hudson, meanwhile, has played in all 30 games this year, overcoming a foot injury that cost him last season and soldiering through a collection of maladies in the past few months, including a strained knee.

He came off the bench for a stretch, battled through a scoring slump and has endured a string of last-second losses that have all but assured he’ll leave Tech without ever reaching the NCAA tournament.

The Hokies (15-15, 4-11 ACC) have seen their last six games come down to the last shot of regulation or go into overtime. They are 2-4 in that stretch and have lost three straight.

They followed up the 70-65 overtime loss at Duke with Thursday’s 58-56 heartbreaker at Clemson.

Their only chance at the NCAA tournament would be an unlikely Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title.

Through it all, Greenberg said, Hudson has been a lead-by-example player during practices and games.

“He’s just been an unbelievable teammate,” Greenberg said. “Anything and everything we’ve asked him to do, he’s done and accepted it with a smile on his face, both feet in, committed, just trying to help us win. Not everyone can do that. That’s a special person that has the ability to almost be a chameleon and fit in any situation.”

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