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#10/#8 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. #11/#12 North Carolina Tar Heels Game #1

The Hokies travel to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina. It’s a short trip from Blacksburg for what promises to be a really tough game.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech
Taking the shot
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s men’s basketball Game Day, again, already.

Streaming ESPN video is available.

The audio feed is also available.

And if you can’t get to enough bandwidth and gigs to stream or listen, there are always the live stats to be read. (Confession: I often end up only being emotionally able to deal with stats updates - I get too nervous anymore.)

The Hokies travel the short jump down Tobacco Road to meet up with the very similarly ranked AP #11, Coaches #10 North Carolina Tar Heels. Carolina is currently 14-4. Both Tech and Carolina are 4-1 in league play.

Both of these offensive teams are looked at to put up some big numbers the over/under on the game is 153 so given the normal pace the expectation is nearly 80 points a team. Carolina is favored by a hair, but it seems that might be more related to the home court than their very even give and take with Tech’s talent and stats.

To win this the Hokies need to get some good runs going. Justin Robinson needs to challenge inside along the key, but all of the Hokie outside shooters are going to have to up their game over the last three. Kerry Blackshear Jr. will need to stay out of foul trouble, but also manage to control inside to keep Carolina at a distance. Nickeil Alexander-Walker needs to pick up where he left off with the Demon Deacons.

Wake was a nice outside recovery, but we need to do better especially on the road. Which is difficult. Outside shooting is so dependent on visual cues, court markings, and background configurations. Alignment is critical and so is shot pace. The Hokies have been hurrying too much of late, and not setting up their shots in rhythm.

Let’s see them drain a few and get on a couple of good ball control runs early. Carolina is going t press. It’s going to run, too, and if Tech doesn’t get the rebound deficits under control games against teams like the Tar Heels will begin to wear poorly.

Hokies need to hit in all phases of the game to win this sort of contest. Might as well do it against an evenly ranked Carolina team.

Get the win! GO HOKIES!!!