Time: 9:20ish p.m. EST
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Place: Greensboro Coliseum (23,745), Greensboro, NC
TV: ACC Network/ESPN3.com
Spread: Virginia Tech -5.5
Opposing Blog: From the Rumble Seat
Yet another must-win for the Hokies, who have received some help during Championship Week in terms of at-large bids not being stolen and other bubble teams falling on their swords. Win this game, and it's very likely Virginia Tech will be in the NCAA Tournament. But as we've learned, it's always easier said than done for the Hokies in crunch time.
The first time we played the Jackets, Malcolm Delaney had an atrocious game, the Hokies made one three-pointer and we lost a game we had no business losing. The second time we played them we shot the lights out, doubled their rebounding total and won by 25. You couldn't find a more polar opposite pair of games. My guess is the Hokies' performance tonight will be somewhere in the middle of those.
Look for Tech to try and slow the game down to keep its seven scholarship players fresh and probably play a lot of zone to keep Jeff Allen and Victor Davila out of foul trouble. It's imperative those two stay out of foul trouble. The problem with doing that is Georgia Tech could easily get hot from behind the arc and shoot the Hokies out of that zone.
The key for the Hokies will be keeping Allen and Davila out of foul trouble, guarding the perimeter and boxing out to prevent offensive rebounds while in the zone and not turning the ball over. The Hokies also can't settle for tough shots early in the shot clock. They need to have good ball movement and create high percentage shots for the post players.
Finally, we need Delaney to show senior leadership. There's been a lot of turmoil surrounding this team since the win over Duke and Tech has now dropped two games to bubble teams and lost yet another player for the season, this time to suspension. Delaney needs to keep this team together and lead the team on the court with the way he plays. He needs to play in control, keep a level head, have a good shooting game and avoid turnovers.
Hopefully this will be fun. I'll be around and on The Twitter. Go Hokies!