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2009-10 Virginia Tech Basketball: NIT vs. Connecticut Game Guide and Game Thread

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Virginia Tech Hokies (24-8, 10-6) vs. Connecticut Huskies (18-15, 7-11)

Time: 7 p.m. EDT
Date: Monday, March 22, 2010
Place: Cassell Coliseum (9,847), Blacksburg, Va.
TV: ESPN
Spread: Virginia Tech -4

Resources: SBN Coverage | VT Notes | NIT Primer

What to Watch: UConn averaged three more rebounds per game than Big East opponents, a relatively low margin for the Huskies who usually have a big interior presence ... if Tech can hold their own in the paint they should be able to beat UConn ... the Huskies' guards will do a lot of driving, so on-ball defenders like Terrell Bell will need to come up big ... things could get interesting if Kemba Walker can get Malcolm Delaney in foul trouble early ... if Tech goes cold from the floor it will play into UConn's hands because it will try to force the Hokies to take a lot of jump shots ... most importantly, the Hokies will be in trouble if Good UConn shows up and the Huskies actually care to win this game ... if Bad UConn shows up, like it has for past few weeks, Tech should win easy ... I'm interested to see what the atmosphere in Cassell will be tonight. NIT attendance has declined significantly since the Hokies averaged 9,667 for three games in 2007 ... just 5,264 showed up for the Quinnipiac game.

Randomness: This is Virginia Tech's seventh home NIT game in the last three years ... the winner faces the winner of Nevada at Rhode Island, which tips at 6 p.m. EDT Monday on ESPNU ... the last time Virginia Tech faced Connecticut was Jan. 28, 2004, when eventual national champion UConn won in Cassell, 96-60 ... Tech's lone win over UConn in its history came in 2003 in Blacksburg, 95-74 ... I have seen more UConn basketball games in person (5) than Virginia Tech games (1).

Game Thread: Use the comments section to discuss Monday's game. I'll be around and on The Twitter.