Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (6-3)
Time: 7 p.m. EST
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009
Place: Bryce Jordan Center (15,261), University Park, Pa.
TV: ESPN2 (DirecTV 209)
Penn State: The Nittany Lions have won four of their last five after losing two games to open the Charleston Classic in Mid-November ... the only loss in that stretch was a three-point loss to Temple Dec. 5 ... Temple is the only team to beat Virginia Tech this season ... junior guard Talor Battle leads the team in scoring with 17.3 ppg ... he is the only player to average double figures in ppg ... Penn State's leading rebounder is junior forward Andrew Jones, who averages 6.2 rpg ... the Lions are 4-0 at home this season ... their best win of the year came Nov. 30 when they knocked off UVa, 69-66 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 4-1 all time against Penn State ... the lone loss came in the teams' last meeting in the 2007 ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Happy Valley ... their previous meeting came in 1979.
What to Watch: I think this one will be close and four of Penn State's last six games have been decided by three points or fewer with the Nittany Lions winning two of those games ... expect it to be low-scoring as well as both teams have fairly efficient defenses according to Ken Pomeroy's efficiency ratings ... both teams do a good job taking care of the ball so points off turnovers will be at a premium ... the battle will come when the Hokies miss shots ... they're one of the better offensive rebounding teams, but Penn State is one of the best at not allowing offensive rebounds ... the key for the Hokies will be getting those second-chance points.
Score Prediction: Virginia Tech 59, Penn State 57
Game Thread: Use the comments section of this post to discuss tonight's game. That is if you're not attending Tech Hoops' watch party in Arlington, Va., tonight. The Lions are having a white-out for the game tonight so expect to hear a lot of Zombie Nation over the PA system.