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VT vs Notre Dame Preview

A quick look at Virginia Tech vs Notre Dame before their Thursday night tilt.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech plays host to #8 Notre Dame Thursday evening in Cassel Coliseum, tip-off is slated for 7pm. This game will be the first of a 3 game home stand for the Hokies as they will look to snap a 4 game losing streak to the Fighting Irish.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>We are 24 hours from our return to Cassell. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHokies?src=hash">#GoHokies</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NDvsVT?src=hash">#NDvsVT</a> <a href="http://t.co/Ku3Gitn0mb">pic.twitter.com/Ku3Gitn0mb</a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/558052504949506048">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Notre Dame comes into tonight's matchup as a 17-2 basketball game with it's only ACC lose to #2 Virginia, which was a close game. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has done a fantastic job this season as he has switched up playing styles to accommodate a much more athletic and guard heavy lineup than past years. Many times this season ND has had 5 guards on the floor at a time, which has caused many matchup problems for opposing teams. The smaller lineup has hurt the Fighting Irish in the rebounding category as they are averaging only 34.3 a game; however, the smaller lineup means that their are more shooters on the floor, which has helped Brey's squad shoot 52.8% from the field, 2nd nationally.

The Fighting Irish are led by Jerian Grant, a senior guard from Maryland, who is averaging 16.7 points per contest as wells as averaging over 6 assists per game. Grant will be a tough matchup for the Hokies as he has the ability to hurt teams in transition by pushing the ball, shooting or passing it to open shooters on the wing.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hokies?src=hash">#Hokies</a> will again be without Justin Bibbs and Joey van Zegeren for tomorrow&#39;s duel with No. 8 Notre Dame</p>&mdash; Mark Berman (@BermanRoanoke) <a href="https://twitter.com/BermanRoanoke/status/557994781708943361">January 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Virginia Tech comes into tonight's game with a record of 8-9 and 0-4 in the ACC. Justin Bibbs, VT's leading scorer, will not participate in this evening's game as he is still recovering from a concussion he suffered last week. So, for the Hokies to have a chance they will need to take care of the basketball, defend, rebounds and make open shots. Since ACC play has begun the Hokies have not shot the ball well, especially from outside. In the last contest, which the Hokies lost to UNC, there were many open shot opportunities that the Hokies failed to capitalize on. Sophomore PG Devin Wilson, an all-ACC freshmen last season, has not played well so far this season and will have to change that if the Hokies hope to be competitive for the rest of this season's campaign.

Check your local listings or click here for TV coverage of tonight's contest.

Go Hokies!

Quick Facts:

Record: 1-4 versus ND

Tip-off: 7pm in Cassel Coliseum

Players to watch: VT- Smith, Wilson, Henry and Hill.  ND- Grant and Connaughton.

Television

RSN - Tim Brant & Debbie Antonelli

Radio

Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network - Bill RothMike Burnop