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Virginia Tech vs. Louisville: Preview, Prediction, & How to Watch

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It’s time for what may be the lone makeup game for the Hokies this season.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

That is how you respond. Every time the Hokies have fallen this season they’ve immediately bounced back with an ACC win. The 38-point senior day win over Wake Forest might have been their best yet. Virginia Tech now has nine ACC wins with the chance to make that total 11 before the ACC Tournament, which would be the program’s second-highest ever since joining the conference and that is even with the numerous games canceled due to COVID-19.

Despite Tech’s impressive season and ACC contention, ESPN still doesn’t have them among their latest Power Rankings or as a favorite to win the ACC Tournament. However, in their latest Bubble Watch update, the Hokies are solidly in the ‘Should be in’ category. But this squad is used to being underestimated. Remember the experts picked VT to finish 11th in the ACC preseason rankings this season.

Up next is 4th place Louisville and a chance for revenge for the two-point loss on the road earlier this season. The Hokies expect to be without sophomore guard Jalen Cone due to an ankle injury but are hopeful he will return in time for the ACC Tournament.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Match-up: Virginia Tech (15-5 | 9-4) vs. Louisville (13-5 | 8-4)

Venue: Cassell Coliseum (Blacksburg, VA)

Time: 7:00 pm ET

TV: ESPN2

Radio: TuneIn Radio

Live stats: HokieSports

ESPN Favorite: 64.7% for the Hokies.

All-time series: 8-36 in favor of Louisville.

Stat Leaders

Scoring: Aluma (VT - 15.9) & Jones (Louisville- 17.6)

Rebounds: Aluma (VT - 8.0) & Withers (Louisville - 8.0)

Assists: Bede (VT - 3.1) & Jones (Louisville - 4.5)

This might be the most lopsided series history in favor of an opponent that Tech faces. The Cardinals have won 17 straight games against the Hokies. The last time VT won was in Blacksburg but that was during the 1990-91 season. In fact, Tech only has two wins against Louisville since 1985. Mike Young noted that he and the team were really looking forward to the chance to break that streak before the home game was initially postponed earlier this season. Now, these two schools are set for a late-season clash with both currently in the top four in the ACC and look for NCAA Tournament bids.

After a similar four-game hiatus due to COVID-19 cancelations, the Cardinals were smashed by UNC 99-54, not unlike the Hokies’ return from paused activities. But Louisville has since responded by beating Notre Dame and then topping Duke in Durham, NC in overtime this past weekend. Tech is just one game behind in the race for the ACC Title, looking to break a long losing streak against the Cardinals, and stay in contention for a solid NCAA seed. This should be a good one.

Prediction

Virginia Tech - 74

Louisville - 71