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Virginia Tech Hokies vs Syracuse Orange: The Preview

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The Syracuse Orange come to the Cassell to take on the Hokies in a Saturday prime time game on ESPN. Syracuse has a lot of momentum after a win at Duke last week, and the Hokies are trying to prove they can compete with top teams.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at North Carolina
After a tough loss in Chapel Hill, the Hokies look regain control and stay undefeated at home.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Hokies host Syracuse in conference play that should hopefully answer some questions for both teams. For Syracuse, they beat the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor last week and looked fantastic, but also lost to a bad Georgia Tech team the week before. Virginia Tech at time looks like an elite eight caliber team, but then goes on the road and gets blown out by UVA and UNC. Both teams need some answers, but lets focus on what this game means for the Hokies and what they have to do to win...

KEY NOTES:

This is a home game. That’s huge for Virginia Tech considering they’re 10-0 at home this season. They shoot better, play with more speed and intensity, and rebound better at home. When at home and comfortable, Tech looks like a top shelf team and like than can compete with anyone. (as a side note the Orange are 3-2 on the road this season)

In addition to what will hopefully be a well contested game across the board, we’ll see a fantastic position match-up at the shooting guard. For the Orange, junior guard Tyus Battle put up 32 pts at Duke and can beat you anywhere on the court. Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have his hands full defending him, but on the other side; NAW should have an advantage. Battle is athletic, but not a top tier defender. I’m hoping NAW can get the ball on the wing and go to work. Keep your eye on these two guys throughout the game.

This may or may not be an identity defying game for Virginia Tech. The Hokies have beaten and sometimes blownout good teams this season; but have been humiliated by elite teams. UVA and UNC both shot the lights out (and foul trouble is another thing as well), but at the end of the day great teams overcome obstacles. Tech has the talent, the experience, and the coach to make a deep run this season, but they have to start playing like it.

Syracuse isn’t a team that stays high in the polls, but every year they make noise in the ACC and NCAA tournament. They have talent, depth, and are very well coached. This is the first true test at home this year, and Virginia Tech has to respond to prove themselves. Look for intensity out of the gate, and look for a rocking crowd.

If you attend the game Saturday, WEAR PINK! This is a pink out game to support cancer awareness. And of course...

GO HOKIES!!!!!