Miami-Florida Hurricanes (14-17) (13-18 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (23-7) (16-13-1 ATS)
NCAA BB: Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 2:30 pm ET (Spectrum Center)
Moneyline: Virginia Tech -330, Miami +270
After downing Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament, the #12 seed Miami Hurricanes have advanced to duke it out with the #5 seed Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Hokies and Canes are no strangers to each other. The Canes more than likely still have the distasteful scent of defeat from the Hokies being that they were handed the loss only last Friday. They’ll want to forget how their down season played out and would like to start anew with ACC tourney success and the win over the Demon Deacons is a fresh way to replenish. Chris Lykes (16.06 PPG, 3.29 APG, 1.35 SPG) is the Canes’ main workhorse and chipped in 13 points in the contest. Dejan Vasilijevic (11.58 PPG, 4.55 RPG) took away top honors, however, with 21 points on 8-12 shooting overall–his best mark on the season. It’s a great win knowing WF defeated Miami just a few games prior. Miami scores 72.3 PPG and have hovered around that average in their last two games. That`s an average marker as is their whole offense. It’s the same way with their defense. The key for them though and something they’re good at is committing minimal fouls as they’re the 6th best team in reducing fouls/play.
Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies handed the Canes two falls this season. The first was an 82-70 win back on January 30 and the second a 84-70 victory in both teams` last game of the regular season. The Hokies are winners of 3 of their last 4, including wins over Duke, Miami and Notre Dame. Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker (16.62 PPG, 48.0 FG%, 1.93 SPG) was especially bright in the victory over Miami. He almost landed a triple double on 21 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists. He needs to remain consistent as he’s one of their most accurate scorers. However, that hasn’t been the case over the last month. He was shaky shooting in the Duke game which is expected but also couldn’t get things going against Notre Dame and Pittsburgh a few games earlier. In the latter, he only added 17 minutes because of foul trouble. Despite some of Alexander-Walker’s mishaps, the team’s got his back as they’re 13th nationally in scoring margin and 7th in effective field goal percentage and are pretty solid elsewhere. We can say the same for the defense as they’re 9th in opponent FGM/game.
Miami is 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games after a straight up win
6-15 ATS in their last 21 Wednesday games
1-7 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Virginia Tech
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami’s last 6 games
Virginia Tech is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 Wednesday games
7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Miami
4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing Miami
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Virginia Tech’s last 7 games
With Miami`s head in revenge mode, Virginia Tech has other plans in mind and those plans are to cement themselves as the top team in the ACC. Miami’s clearly far from that and are just vying for respect while title chances seem dim. But as they say, never take a team for granted and for Virginia Tech, they’ll need to just take it one game at a time and focus on Miami before the big dance. It’s nice to say that Miami will cover this time being that they’re familiar with VT and the third time can be a charm. But Virginia Tech will once again be in the driver seat and moves on.