Odds: miami is favored by 6.
The final preview of the season. I’d be lying if I said I’m shedding any tears as I write this. While I’m sure we all want to shock the Milky Way and go from dead last in the ACC (#15 seed — at least we only have to worry about bringing our road uniforms) to win five days in a row and capture the ACC title, I think many of us already have tee times set for Thursday.
Boo-hoos: The more interesting thing for me will be to see what happens with the #1 seed virginia cavaliers. uva has a double-bye and won’t play until Friday at noon in the Quarterfinals. With a win over the #8/9 game winner (florida state vs maryland), uva will advance to ACC Semi-Final Saturday. Big whoop, right?
Actually, it would end one of the longest ACC Tournament streaks of futility — uva has failed to make it past the Quarterfinal Round for the last 18 years. The last time they did, I was a freshman at Virginia Tech (that wasn’t yesterday).
It is unbelievable to think they’ve gone that long without a semi-final appearance. Many of those years all they had to do was win one game, especially from 1996-2003 when there were only 9 teams in the league. And before you say “but when have they been the #1 seed?” Well, never during that stretch. But they did tie for the regular season title in 2007 and were the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament, but lost to the #10 seed nc state in the Quarters (of course, state would then knock off VT in the semis, costing Tech a trip to the Championship Game). Last year as the #4 seed and a first round bye, the hoos lost to #5 seed nc state in the Quarters.
Tech made the semis 3 out of 4 years between 2007 and 2010, although they were never able to get over the hump and make a title game appearance.
HOKIES: OK, enough about the hoos (but I had to draw light to that pathetic stat given this may be the last time I get to mention it and given all the positive publicity they’ve been getting of late).
The Hokies face the miami hurricanes on Wednesday… the team they swept this regular season for their only two ACC wins and their only win in the calendar year of 2014. Oh, the irony!!! Could it be a 3-peat? Before you say no, keep in mind an awful nc state team (5-11) beat the Hokies three times back in 2007, the greatest Hokie team of the last 17 years. A Hokie team that was one basket away in the regular season finale against clemson from tying for the league title and getting the #1 seed in the tourney. I’ll say this — it is a lot easier to win 3 games against a team if you’ve won the first 2 (thank you, Captain Obvious).
Note that these are the per game averages for ACC games only, along with the team’s ACC rank in parenthesis (out of 15). You’ll notice a lot of 15s next to VT.
|Stat (Per Game)||HOKIES||miami|
|PPG||55.3 (15)||59.2 (14)|
|Opp PPG||65.6 (6)||59.6 (3)|
|FT%||61% (15)||65% (13)|
|FG%||37% (15)||41% (13)|
|Opp FG%||42% (5)||41% (2)|
|3-Pt%||31% (13)||32% (10)|
|3s Made||5.9 (6)||5.6 (8)|
|Opp 3-Pt%||34% (7)||36% (12)|
|Blocks||3.7 (t-7)||3.2 (11)|
|Steals||3.8 (15)||4.3 (t-14)|
|TO Margin||-3.6 (15)||-0.3 (8)|
|Def Reb %||69% (6)||67% (8)|
|Off Reb %||32% (11)||34% (7)|
- Neither team scored more than 56 points in regulation in either game — this could be a real snooze-fest
- No Hokie reached double digits in both games — Eddie had 24 in the first meeting (mostly late to overcome a 10-point deficit late), but just 7 in the rematch
- Devin Wilson had 14 assists in the two games combined
- Garrius Adams had 14 in the first match-up and 13 in the ‘Burg game to lead the canes both times
- miami shot 26% on FGs, 21% on 3s (7/34), and 47% on FTs in the game at Tech
- The canes shot just 31% from the floor in the two games, including 22% from deep (they settled for a ton of 3-pointers in the 2nd meeting… expect them to attack the zone via overloads or the high post and not settle for 3s this time)
- While miami only made 15 field goals in the game in the ‘Burg, VT made just 17… it was not the prettiest game you’ll ever see.
I can’t even imagine how empty the G-boro Coliseum will be for this game. The Opening Round games aren’t even included in the ACC Tournament ticket package, and tickets for these games will be “general admission”. Since nearby wake forest plays right before VT, there might be a few people there at the start. But if wake falls to 0-4 in the ACC Tournament under soon to be unemployed Coach Bzdelik, the VT/miami game might have all the life of a rec league game.
TECH’S ROAD TO THE ACC TITLE:
- Wednesday – ~3:30 PM – #10 miami
- Thursday – 7 PM – #7 nc state
- Friday – 7 PM – #2 syracuse
- Saturday – ~3:30 PM – #3 duke or #6 clemson or #11 gt or #14 bc
- Sunday – 7 PM – If we are still alive at this point, I’m assuming the rest of the league has been wiped out by some scandal or bird flu epidemic