Virginia (12-5) at Virginia Tech (11-6)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cassell Coliseum (9,847) -- Blacksburg, Virginia.
Television: ACC Network. Home Record: Virginia 11-1, Virginia Tech 8-2. Away
Record: Virginia 1-3, Virginia Tech 2-2. Neutral Record: Virginia 0-1,
Virginia Tech 1-2. Conference Record: Virginia 2-2, Virginia Tech 2-2. Series
Record: Virginia leads, 82-53.
GAME NOTES: Instate rivals collide in Blacksburg on Thursday, as the Virginia
Tech Hokies welcome the Virginia Cavaliers to Cassell Coliseum for an ACC
This is the most played rivalry in Virginia Tech history, as this marks the
136th all-time meeting. Virginia holds an 82-53 series advantage, but the
series has tightened up since Tech joined to the ACC with Virginia posting a
James Johnson's first season in Blacksburg has been successful to this point,
with the Hokies sporting an 11-6 overall record. Virginia Tech did drop its
first two league bouts, but has righted the ship of late, with back-to-back
narrow wins over Georgia Tech (70-65 OT) and most recently, Wake Forest
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers are once again one of the nation's premier defensive
squads and certainly drove that point home against Florida State last time
out, limiting the Seminoles to a mere 36 points in a 20-point romp. The win
ended a two-game skein and evened Virginia's conference record to 2-2.
The Cavaliers rank second nationally in scoring defense, allowing a mere 50.6
ppg. The team has carried that strong effort into ACC action, holding all four
conference foes under 60 points thus far. With defensive numbers like that,
the team doesn't need to be an offensive juggernaut. Still, the team has a
potent inside/outside game in the form of guard Joe Harris and forward Akil
Mitchell. Hall leads the team in scoring at 15.2 ppg and is shooting .463 from
behind the arc (37-of-80). Mitchell nets 12.3 ppg and ranks among the ACC's
best in rebounding (fifth in the conference at 9.1 rpg).
Harris and Mitchell led the way in the win over Florida State, as Harris
posted 17 points, while Mitchell checked in with 13.
Virginia Tech is more of a threat to put up big scoring efforts thanks to the
explosiveness of Erick Green. The 6-foot-4 senior has posted 20 or more points
in 16 of the 17 games this season and currently leads the nation at 24.6 ppg.
Green is also the team's primary distributor, doling out 4.4 apg. Jarell Eddie
is a nice complement to Green, adding 14.5 ppg to the mix, while grabbing 6.6
rpg. Robert Brown rounds out the team's top scoring threats with 10.2 ppg.
Brown hit a jumper with just under 13 seconds left in the game, lifting the
Hokies to a one-point victory over Wake Forest this past weekend. Brown had an
otherwise miserable outing, shooting just 2-of-11 overall and finishing with a
mere four points, but saved the best for last. Green was once again the
driving force on the offensive end, netting 22 points. Eddie just missed a
double-double, pouring in 18 points and grabbing nine boards.
These teams are pretty evenly matched and it will be up to Green to break
through Virginia's defenses to leads his team to victory. That of course, is
easier said than done.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 63, Virginia Tech 61
01/24 10:36:49 ET