Tuesday, March 3, 2009
North Carolina-Virginia Tech Prediction
North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies have one more chance to take down a Goliath of the ACC when they welcome UNC to Cassell Coliseum for an ESPN game. Va. Tech lost to Duke this past weekend bringing their ACC record to 7-7. North Carolina is trying to hold onto a number one seed. The two meet for the first time this season and for the first time in Blacksburg since January 2007.
North Carolina 25-3, 11-3, 7-2(away), RPI #3
Virginia Tech 17-11, 7-7, 9-4(home), RPI #59
UNC has won 4 of the last 6
UNC has won 2 of the last 3 in Blacksburg
What North Carolina Must Do To Win...
1. Not Be Ice Cold Shooting
In the Tar Heels three losses they have shot under 39 percent in all of them. The Hokies are allowing opponents to shoot just 41 percent on the season.
2. Ty Lawson Plays Well
As much of a force Tyler Hansbrough is on the inside it is Lawson that makes UNC's engine go. Lawson will have a tough matchup with Malcolm Delaney who is a scoring point guard in the mold of Tyrese Rice, Jeff Teague, Greivis Vasquez whose teams the Heels all lost to.
What Virginia Tech Must Do To Win...
1. Keep UNC Off The Glass
The Heels are 7th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game which is pretty good considering they hit nearly 49 percent of their shots. Virginia Tech is an above average rebounding team but this will be their biggest test of the season.
2. Keep Turnovers To A Minimum
The Hokies had an aberration on Saturday turning it over 19 times , six more than their season average, in the loss to Duke. But North Carolina forces nearly 17 per game and those turnovers kick start their fast break offense than they are so deadly at. The Hokies cannot keep up in a fast break tempo game.
The home crowd for the Hokies will certainly give them a boost knowing how much rides on this game. However, North Carolina has too much offensive fire power and depth to overcome. Both teams are below .500 against the spread on the season but VT has especially struggled lately going just 1-6 for their last 7.
North Carolina Wins by 8-14 points
Season: 21-20 SU through 3/1
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