Spread: unc by 14.5.
In every game there must be a winner and a loser (except in soccer). And the Hokies have been quite hospitable of late, losing 9 of 13 overall and 5 of 7 in league play. But enough of that, Virginia Tech is going to win Saturday. Let me say it again — THE HOKIES ARE GOING TO WIN SATURDAY! Ah, that felt good.
Yes, I realize the game is at unc. Not unc-g-spot, or unc-charlotte, or unc-pembroke. It is at Chapel Hill. I don’t care. Am I guaranteeing a win? Well, no. That never works for me anyway. But I really do think Tech will win this ballgame, and I’m 51% sure of it! Here’s why:
- Noon kickoffs stink. heels will come out flat, VT will come out fired up playing in the Dean Dome. Green’s played there twice already so he won’t be in ‘awe’ and Raines and Eddie have also already played there.
- Minds elsewhere. unc watched a scary injury happen to their teammate at bc on Tuesday (more on that later) and might not be totally focused. Plus, they’ll be shorthanded.
- unc ain’t that good… by unc standards. They’ve lost 3 ACC games and 6 overall already. Remove their third leading scorer, and they are even weaker.
- unc ain’t that big (see below – just one guy over 6’9″ and he only averages 11 minutes).
- The heels love to push the ball — heck, Tech can finally get out and run and gun more! unc has the third fastest tempo in the land. Let’s see if JJ’s style can win out.
- We are due. WE ARE DUE! It’s time to go out and kick some butt and get a big win! We may just be 5-28 at unc all time, but that’s 5 wins better than clemson (0-for-fifty-something at unc). I’m tired of being negative. I believe, and expect, we can win this game!
P.J. Hairston suffered a concussion in the game at bc, getting run into by a teammate and then hitting his head on the court. After being helped up, he collapsed again onto the floor. He had to be taken off on a stretcher and is doubtful for this game (he won’t play, I guarantee it in this age of concussions). P.J. was Pretty Jacked up after it happened and not having him costs unc their third leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and second best 3-point shooter (38% and 43 makes).
Chaz Michaels Michaels, a.k.a. James Michael McAdoo from the 757, has developed into a heck of a player, scoring 14.7 ppg and snagging 8.7 rebounds. But the sophomore also turns it over a lot and is just a 58% foul shooter.
We’ve documented VT’s problems guarding the 3-point shot. Well, enter Reggie Bullock. The junior guard is 19/46 in his 7 ACC games on 3s (41%). He had 22 at the half against maryland. He’s made at least 2 three-pointers in 8 straight games, including 5 against mcneese state. He could score 30 on the Hokies if they don’t stay out on him and fight over screens (instead of going under).
Leslie McDonald is also a decent 3-point shooter (43% but only 25 makes) and Marcus Paige, their freshman PG, has 20 made 3s at a 30% clip (he’s the one to watch out for if recent trends continue). The heels get a lot of assists (almost double what VT gets). Limiting turnovers will be key against unc (VT had 17 TOs vs miami).
This is not your typical heels squad in the post. They have just one player over 6’9″ and that’s Joel James, who is a freshman that plays just 11 minutes per game. McAdoo is 6’9″ but just 230 lbs, and Brice Johnson, another frosh, is 6’9″ but just 187. Hairston was a physical guard, but that doesn’t matter now. Tech shouldn’t be dominated in the post and match up much better than they did against miami.
So there you have it — Hokie victory. Get the good Scotch ready. We’re winning in Chapel Hill.