The Hokies head to Charlottesville in search of a statement win against the 9th ranked Virginia Cavaliers.
The Virginia Tech Hokies (16-5, 5-4 ACC) roller coaster ride through the ACC schedule continues tonight as they visit their bitter rivals, the Virginia Cavaliers (16-4, 6-2 ACC). The Hokies are coming off of a close home win against Boston College. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, most recently suffered a heart-breaker at the hands of Villanova.
The win against Boston College puts the Hokies back above .500 in ACC, which will be paramount for their tournament profile. The Hokies continue to beat teams they are supposed to beat, but struggle against the upper echelon of the ACC. If they want to find themselves safely in the big dance come March, they have to break that mold and pick up a signature win or two.
The catalyst for Virginia Tech over the past couple of weeks has been point guard Seth Allen. He has averaged almost 18 points per game over the last four games, and his ability to score the basketball in isolation situations has driven the offense.
That scoring spark will be needed tonight against a Virginia team that is tops in the country in scoring defense. The Hokies will have to score in transition and capitalize on the minimal amount of mistakes the Cavaliers will make.
All five players on the floor for Virginia Tech will have to be able to defend on every possession. No team in the country shares the scoring load more than the Cavaliers. The Hokies will have to account for every player on Virginia’s squad.
Overall, the Hokies have a good chance to make this game competitive. The team with the advantage tonight will be the team that best dictates the pace of the game. If Virginia Tech can avoid a slow paced half-court game with the Cavaliers, they’ll be in contention for an upset.