Jan 6, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Justin Bibbs (10) goes up for a shot past Florida State Seminoles forward Kiel Turpin (11) during the first half of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies kick off a streak of four games against top 25 opponents on the road against the very talented Louisville Cardinals. This is the toughest game that the Hokies have faced all season, and will also be the toughest environment that Virginia Tech has played at this season.
The Hokies have a very young team and playing in a tough environment like the KFC Yum! Center will be a great chance to gain valuable experience about playing on the road in the ACC. Buzz Williams has faced Rick Pitino a few times in the past so the Hokies will definitely have a good understanding of what Pitino might try to do against the Hokies.
However, this is going to be a very tough matchup for the Hokies. If the Hokies are going to pull off the upset, they are going to need a few things to go right.
The Hokies will need the Louisville Cardinals to look past this game to their massive showdown on Saturday against the Duke Blue Devils. The Hokies have been a great shooting team this season especially from beyond the arc, and will need their shooters to shine against Louisville’s tough defense.
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Virginia Tech will also need to stay out of foul trouble and limit the number of second chance points that the Cardinals can get off of offensive rebounds. To say it will be a challenge for the Hokies to pull off the upset would be understating it, but you never know sometimes.
Justin Bibbs has had 47 points in his first two ACC games and while he may not be able to do that again, Bibbs will have another big game with at least 16 to 18 points against the Cardinals. Adam Smith will also do a decent amount of damage in this game with at least 10 to 12 points.
The Hokies are weak in the frontcourt and former Virginia Tech commit Montrezl Harrell will take advantage. Harrell is a double-double threat in every game, and the Hokies will struggle to contain the junior power forward.
Louisville also does a great job of forcing turnovers with Terry Rozier, Chris Jones, and Wayne Blackshear having the experience to cause problems for an inexperienced Virginia Tech backcourt.
Louisville does not have a great shooting backcourt, but the Cardinals have an advantage on the glass with five players who are averaging five or more rebounds per game. The Cardinals also have an experienced team that will be ready for this big game.
Patience is key for the Hokies this season and while Justin Bibbs will be a scoring force in this game, the Louisville Cardinals are the much better team and it will show. Virginia Tech will suffer a tough loss on the road to Louisville by a final score of 79-60. However, the game is played on the court and not on paper, and we’ll just have to watch and see what happens.
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