The No. 7-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies will face the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday in Brooklyn.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Hokies and Tar Heels, with UNC winning both meetings. Carolina won the first game in Chapel Hill, 78-68, and also took the rematch in Blacksburg, 65-57.
UNC arrived in Brooklyn with a 24-8 record in 2021-22. The Tar Heels finished tied for No. 2 in the ACC with a 15-5 record in ACC play. Meanwhile, the Hokies are in the semifinals after back-to-back wins over Clemson and Notre Dame. Virginia Tech, 21-12, is still on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The Hokies dominated the second-seeded Fighting Irish Thursday, but Notre Dame surged late before Tech held on for the win.
Virginia Tech has a complicated history with North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. In the last two years, it has been UNC that has eliminated Tech from the conference tournament. Will history repeat itself Friday evening?
North Carolina’s size and depth create problems for Virginia Tech. The Hokies had no answer for UNC’s starting five in the first meeting, as Armando Bacot had a double-double of 14 points and 19 rebounds. North Carolina outrebounded the Hokies 43-32.
In Blacksburg, guard Caleb Love again led the Heels in scoring, and Bacot recorded another double-double. Again, UNC dominated on the boards, 38-31.
If Virginia Tech pulls off the upset Friday, it will need to shoot better from 3-point range. The Hokies are a good 3-point shooting team; however, against North Carolina this season, the Hokies have made 12 of 44 from beyond the arc. That’s not going to get it done Friday. Had the Hokies shot the ball better in the last meeting — they were 5/26 from 3-point range — they defeat North Carolina.
How to watch
When: Friday, March 11, 2022
TV: ESPN 9:30 p.m. ET (approximately 30 minutes after completion of the first game)
Streaming: ESPN App, WatchESPN.com
Live Stats: ESPN.com
Arena: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York.
DraftKings Line: North Carolina -2, O/U 142.5
(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)