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Radford at Virginia Tech: Game preview, how to watch

It’s a battle of the New River Valley.

NCAA Basketball: Maine at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something special about the Virginia Tech Hokies hosting the Radford Highlanders on Monday night in Blacksburg. No, this isn’t one school scheduling a cupcake in November to pad the stats. For years, Radford has been a competitive team under former head coach Mike Jones.

Jones left this offseason to take over as head coach at UNC-Greensboro. To replace him, Radford hired former West Virginia point guard Darris Nichols.

Does that name sound familiar? It should. Nichols, 35, made his name in the coaching world with stops at his alma mater (WVU), Northern Kentucky, Wofford, Louisiana Tech and Florida.

It was during his time at Wofford that he worked with Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young. Nichols’ brother, Shane, played for Young at Wofford and the brothers each worked under Young. Shane Nichols is now on staff at Radford.

So, while Shane Nichols played for Young at Wofford, it’s the city of Radford that unites Young and the Nichols’ brothers. All three played high school basketball at Radford High School, creating a lifelong bond.

Series history

Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 9-2. The two schools met last November, with the Hokies defeating the Highlanders, 77-62. Tech has won the last three meetings. The Highlanders last defeated the Hokies in a nailbiter, 68-66, in Buzz Williams’ first season as head coach at VT.

How to watch, listen and stream online

When: Monday, Nov. 15

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia

TV: ACC Network Extra

Radio: Virginia Tech Sports Radio Network. You can find a list of affiliates here.

Online: ESPN+

Odds: The Hokies are 20.5-point favorites, per Odds Shark.

Radford’s top performers

G (15) Bryan Hart, SR: (11.0 PPG)

G (11) Camron McNeil SO: (10.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG)

G (2) Josiah Jeffers, SR: (10.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, 3.0 SPG)

Virginia Tech’s top performers

F (22) Keve Aluma: (14.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG)

F (25) Justyn Mutts: (12.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.0 APG)

G (0) Hunter Cattoor: (12.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.5 APG)

G (4) Nahiem Alleyne: (10.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG)

G (5 ) Storm Murphy: (8.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.5 APG)