Gameday Thoughts

  • Dick Vitale picked illinois to beat us thanks to their devastating D.
  • We’ll see how VT reacts to being in the Big Dance. That was their goal all season – to make the NCAA Tournament. Now that they’ve done that, will they have the fire and intensity it takes? I think Tech will since they are a veteran team and won’t just rest on making the tourney. The Hokie guards are very competitive any time they step on the floor and need to set the tone for everyone else.
  • Nerves: illinois is a very veteran team and everyone that they play has at least been in uniform for a NCAA Tournament game. Most of their players have played in several tourney games. Tech, on the other hand, does not have a single player that has ever played in a tourney game. We’ll see if VT comes out shaky and tight. Hopefully, that won’t lead to an early deficit since Tech has struggled to come from behind this year. I don’t see VT being overly nervous though since they have four upperclassmen starting that have played in ACC Tournaments and even a Big East Tournament (other than Deron). [Heck, I’m nervous and it is 8 hours to game time… I can’t concentrate on anything at work]
  • nc state: The illini are similar to nc state, but with a much better defense and a slightly worse offense. We will see if Tech has learned from their three battles with the wolfpack. Tech must force the illinois big men to shoot farther from the hoop than nc state had to, and defend the three well. If illinois is able to score with ease and shoot a high percentage, I don’t see Tech winning this game. Fouling their big men over giving up easy buckets isn’t a bad idea since the illini don’t shoot free throws well.
  • On offense, the fast break is the key to the Hokies. If they can get buckets in transition, I like our chances. However, getting buckets in the half court set will be tough and illinois rebounds very well on the defensive glass. I really hope Dowdell can hit two or more three-pointers in this game, and hopefully Vassallo has his hot shooting continue.
  • Defend the illinois three, limit offensive rebounds, and get out on the break, and I see a Hokie win.
  • Pulse of the Fans: I think a lot of VT fans are skeptical about how the Hokies will do tonight. Kind of odd for a 5 seed against a 12, but I guess that is what the nc state losses have done to us. What was it they said in Animal House? I recommend drinking heavily?

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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2 Responses to “Gameday Thoughts”

  1. The Wick says:

    I picked Tech to lose this game in one bracket, lose in the second round in another bracket, go to the Final Four in a third bracket, and win it all in my fourth bracket. Point being I don’t know what to expect, but I am down with your preview Niemo.

  2. Duffy says:

    I agree with every point cept the clot Dicky V. Maybe this will help us out though as Tech seems to play better when the underdog.

    6:29pm EST with a Sparks in one hand and Blantons in the other.


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