It has been a tough few weeks for the Hokies basketball team as they have lost four consecutive against West Virginia, Syracuse, Florida State, and Louisville. Their struggles in rebounding and early game situations continue to plague their season which has led to their current (8-8, 0-3) record. If they expect to rebound against the 15th ranked Tar Heels on Sunday, they will need to quickly improve in both.
The Tar Heels are currently (13-4, 3-1) on the year including riding a two game winning streak after defeating 5th ranked Louisville and their in-state rival NC State. Junior point guard Marcus Paige has set the table for the surging Tar Heels in recent weeks. If Virginia Tech hopes to win this game, they will need to focus on limiting his playmaking opportunities. While Paige is leading the team in scoring this season with nearly 14 a game, the Tar Heels have a well balanced offense that is currently ranked 17th overall in the nation in scoring with 79.6. In addition to their deep and dynamic offense, they rank 3rd overall in the nation in rebounding with 44 per game. Before the suspension of big man Joey Van Zegeren, Virginia Tech was a weak rebounding team. Without his interior presence, it is expected to be worse.
For Virginia Tech to have a chance to win this contest, they will need to have career performances from their key contributors. Collectively, Justin Bibbs, Adam Smith, Ahmed Hill, and Devin Wilson will need to have big performances. The Hokies will need to improve their rebounding and find quality shots in order to pull off the road upset in Chapel Hill.
Williams vs. Williams:
Roy Williams and Buzz Williams have only coached against each other one time previously. In 2011, Williams' Tar Heels defeated Williams' Golden Eagles in a Sweet Sixteen matchup at Prudential Center, 81-63.
With the Duke game recently selling out, don't wait on getting your tickets for the upcoming VT-UVA game!
Duke game sold out: Virginia game has less than 100 tickets remaining http://t.co/JvmAecHzVM— VT Men's Basketball (@VT_MBBall) January 16, 2015