Paul Hewitt was fired earlier today after 11 seasons as the Yellow Jackets’ basketball coach. Here are five biggest wins and worst losses during his career in Atlanta:
Five big wins
1. Georgia Tech 77, No. 1 Connecticut 61 (Nov. 26, 2003): The unranked Jackets stunned the Huskies to advance to the championship game of the preseason NIT. It was Tech’s most-recent win over a top-ranked team. They are 0-for-3 since. B.J. Elder and Isma’il Muhammad scored 22 points each for the Jackets.
2. Georgia Tech 67, Oklahoma State 65 (April 3, 2004): Will Bynum’s layup with 1.5 seconds left sent the Yellow Jackets into the NCAA tournament’s national championship game. The Cowboys tied the game at 65 with 26.3 seconds remaining, before Bynum drove down the right side of the line for the game-winner.
3. No. 22 Georgia Tech 102, No. 5 Wake Forest 101 (Jan. 27, 2005): Jarrett Jack hit two free throws with 4.4 seconds left in over to win the game. Bynum had 30 points in the game. Hewitt said this was probably his favorite moment at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
4. No. 19 Georgia Tech 76, No. 3 Duke 68 (March 3, 2004): The win snapped the Blue Devils’ 41-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium, at the time the longest in the nation. Jack had 15 points and 8 rebounds.
5. Georgia Tech 79, Kansas 71 overtime (March 28, 2004): Jack scored eight of his 29 points in overtime to lead the Jackets to their first Final Four since 1990. The team wasn’t at full strength because Elder had a sprained ankle. Tech’s defense limited the Jayhawks to 40-percent shooting and 15 turnovers.
Honorable mention: Tech defeated ranked Virginia teams three times in Hewitt’s first season, wins that helped propel the Jackets to the NCAA Tournament.
Five bad losses
1. Kennesaw State 80, Georgia Tech 63 (Nov. 15, 2010): This loss to the up-the-interstate neighbor, in the season’s second game in front of a record crowd, may have permanently turned many of the on-the-fence fans against Hewitt. Tech may have been prepared, but they didn’t look it. The Jackets were blitzed by the Owls, who hit 43.5-percent of their 3-pointers. Most galling? Kennesaw State won just six more games.
2. UNC-Greensboro 83, Georgia Tech 74 (Nov. 9, 2007): It was not quite the season-opener fans expected after the Jackets advanced to the NCAA Tournament the previous year. Tech had a four-point lead at halftime but Greensboro used a 12-0 run early in the second half to take control of the game.
t-3. Illinois-Chicago, 73, Georgia Tech 51; Illinois-Chicago 66, Georgia Tech 60 (Nov. 25, 2005 and Dec. 14, 2008): Yes, the Jackets lost to the Flames twice. Neither time did Chicago later advance to the NCAA tournament.
5. Georgia 79, Georgia Tech 72 (Jan. 9, 2008): While this wasn’t a great Georgia Tech team, it was a horrible Georgia team.
– Doug Roberson, AJC