The seventh seeded Virginia Tech women’s basketball team face off against two seed Baylor on Tuesday night.
What: Virginia Tech Hokies (15-9, 8-8 ACC) vs. Baylor Bears (26-2, 17-1 BIG 12)
When: Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas
Kenny Brooks and the Hokies will face a tough task against a very good Baylor team. The Bears are currently the reigning NCAA Champions, and they have also won the last three BIG 12 Championships.
Virginia Tech is trying to reach its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1999 with an upset win. Baylor has earned a spot in the Sweet 16 in the last 12 tournaments, a streak the Hokies will look to end.
In the first round the Hokies took down Marquette with a 70-63 win. Elizabeth Kitley was the star in that one doing a little bit of everything. She had 23 points, four assists, three blocks, and eight rebounds on the day. She played every minute of the contest on Sunday.
Baylor defeated Jackson State 101-52 in their first match of the NCAA Tournament. Moon Ursin had 24 points for the Bears in the win.
This contest will be the first between these two programs.
Keys to Virginia Tech women’s basketball win
Baylor leads the Big 12 in just about every statistical category but the Hokies need to stick to their game plan and not fear the Bears on the court. Virginia Tech has proven that they can keep up with the best programs this season. The team will need to believe that they can pull this upset off because they can.
If Tech can get off to a hot start and start draining shots, they’ll gain a ton of momentum throughout the game. The big thing is that they can’t allow Baylor to create a big lead, keeping the game close will be important. Elizabeth Kitley has the size advantage in the paint so getting her open and getting her the ball as much as possible will be important.
Against Marquette, the Hokies didn’t shoot the three all that well. Up until the fourth quarter they were 0-6 from behind the arc, but they drained four of their six attempts in the fourth quarter to put the game away. In their first game they found more success in the paint and didn’t need to rely on the three as much but sinking some more long range shots will be important in this one.
Players to watch
Virginia Tech – Elizabeth Kitley has been a constant all season for the Hokies. The sophomore averages 18.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Throughout the whole season, she only scored single digits in two games. She is also the second leading scorer in the ACC.
Baylor – NaLyssa Smith has had a terrific season for the Bears, one that includes winning Big 12 Player of the Year. She’s been terrific for Baylor, almost averaging a double double each game. The forward is averaging 18.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. She has also started every game for the Bears this season.
The winner of this one will face off against either Michigan or Tennessee in the Sweet 16.