Georgia Tech faces a "must win" Sunday at home vs Virginia if it wants to keep its NIT hopes alive. While the Yellow Jackets are rebuilding, the first step towards returning to ACC prominence is taking care of your home court.
So far, Brian Gregory's club has not done a very good job of that this season. While the loss to Miami was understandable, the OT defeat to Virginia Tech was a step back for this program. The blowout win over Wake was a nice bounce back and the Jackets can take another step forward with a win over the Cavaliers today.
8 Thoughts on Georgia Tech - Virginia
1. The Cavs have won five in a row in this series including a 70-38 stomping last year in Atlanta. Tony Bennett has never lost to Georgia Tech while in Charlottesville.
2. The all important RPI rankings: UVA #95 GT #136. Other sites have different numbers but every site I checked had the Wahoos rated higher.
3. Offensively, Georgia Tech is averaging two points under their opponents average scoring defense this season. In ACC, Tech is faring at the exact same level. Virginia is giving up 51 points per game on the season and 52 points in league play.
4. Defensively, Georgia Tech is holding opponents to eight points below their season average for scoring. However, in league play the Jackets are holding the opposition to just two points below their season average. The Cavaliers are scoring 63 points per game on the season as a whole and 59 points per game in ACC games.
5. Virginia's strength of schedule is low at #201 compared to GT at #115. Bennett's team is just 2-4 on the road the season losing to George Mason (RPI #145 at time playing, Old Dominion #324, Wake Forest #121, and Clemson #137. They did beat Wisconsin #53 and Virginia Tech #148. Georgia Tech is 9-2 at home with the best win over Wake Forest #128 and their worst home loss to Virginia Tech #145.
6. Virginia's rosters ranked 3.33 stars out of high school. Georgia Tech's roster ranked 3.44
7. When you add in experience, Georgia Tech should have more talent on this season. Tech's top nine players have a 51.3 total rating vs Virginia's top nine at 46.4. This rating is computed by adding recruiting stars plus the number of years in the program. The theory is that recruiting rankings alone don't tell you the talent level of a team because a 4th year, 4 star player should be better than a 1st year, 4 star player. UVA vs GT Player Ratings Detail
8. After all that, Virginia is favored by 2.5 points on Sunday
This game is shaping up to a very good, albeit low scoring game. While talent and experience favor Georgia Tech, Virginia is playing arguably their best basketball of the season coming off a home win over NC State. The Cavs confidence is much higher than Tech's who has yet to win a close game this season.
Georgia Tech cannot afford another home loss setting them to -2 in the "games you need to win" column, but Virginia's stifling defense is just too much.