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Virginia Tech Hokies vs Liberty Flames Round of 32: Preview

After a win in the first round, the Hokies face in state opponent: the Liberty Flames.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Saint Louis vs Virginia Tech
After a good win, the Hokies look to keep it rolling against the Flames.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With one game down, the Hokies look to keep rolling against the Flames and book their ticket to the Sweet 16!

Earlier in the year, Virginia Tech played against the Flames in an exhibition game. In the game, the game was tight until the Hokies dominated the second half towards a blowout win.

Taking a glance at the current state of the flames; they’re coming off the first tournament win in program history with a phenomenal win against a good Mississippi State team. In the game, their leading scorer and “best player” Scottie James had a horrendous outing with just six points and six rebounds. On the other side of the spectrum, Caleb Homesley had a career high 30 points and led a late game surge to win the game.

KEYS FOR THE HOKIES:

The Hokies biggest thing in this game will be defense. With Justin Robinson back, the Hokies offense is a huge concern anymore as he, Alexander-Walker, and Blackshear can all score on any given possession.

For Virginia Tech to win this game, they have to be sound defensively. Kerry Blackshear Jr. should be able to shut down the Flames big man and force Liberty to play on the perimeter. Looking at the perimeter, Robinson, Alexander-Walker, and Bede are all solid defenders and usually avoid mental mistakes. Assuming that doesn’t change, they all should have the upper hand against the Flames’ wings.

The Flames are going to be incredibly energetic and emotional. The Hokies have to be ready for Liberty to come out strong and not get rattled.

The Hokies are a much more talented team than the Flames and should be able to grab a win, but it is March. If Virginia Tech doesn’t come out on their A-game, we could be in a rough situation early. Personally, I think Tech will be ready and will come out ready not just to win, but to dominate. Shoot decent and play their game defensively, and this could the year Tech makes it back to the Sweet 16.