BLACKSBURG – After going on the road for the first time since Feb. 4, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team is back at home to face in-state rival [RV/RV] Virginia on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.
The Hokies (15-12, 6-10 ACC) will go up against a team that has won the last three games in the rivalry, with the Cavaliers (19-7, 11-5) adding to their advantage in the all-time series 94-56. The last time these two faced off, the Cavaliers got the best of Tech, 65-39, this past January.
The two schools have faced each other every single year since 1922 and the Cavaliers own a 94-56 lead in the series. Out of the last six games, Tech has needed overtime on both occasions to walk away with a win, as UVA leads 4-2.
Tech’s Mike Young is 0-2 against UVA’s Tony Bennett, losing 74-39 in 2012 in Charlottesville and then last month as well. This will be Young’s first time taking on UVA inside Cassell.
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The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Jon Crispin (analyst) on the call, while Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst) will broadcast on Virginia Tech Sports Properties.
The last time out, Tech gave up a season-high 51 points at halftime and then-No. 6/6 Duke never looked back, winning by a score of 88-64 in Cameron. The Hokies’ bench outscored the Blue Devils’ reserves 33-27, while Duke won the boards by out-rebounding Tech 49-31.
After committing eight turnovers in Durham on Saturday, Tech’s average a game is now 9.70, which is third in the nation behind fellow ACC foe Notre Dame (9.67) and Liberty (9.69).
In three out of its last four games, Tech has scored exactly 15 fastbreak points. Having more of a since of urgency as of late, Tech’s average is 9.5 fastbreak points a game.
SCOUTING [RV/RV] VIRGINIA
The Cavaliers are coming off a close three-point win at Pitt (15-13, 6-11) this past Saturday despite having 16 turnovers, overcoming the miscues with four players scoring in double figures.
Tony Bennett enters his 11th season as the head coach in Charlottesville, following his three-year stint at Washington State where he led the Cougars to consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history. At UVA, Bennett has earned three National Coach of the Year awards and won the NCAA title last season with a school-record 35 wins.
Virginia is paced by Mamadi Diakite, who owns a team-high 13.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. A preseason All-ACC pick, Diakite has caused quite a bit of havoc the defensive end, forcing 53 opponent turnovers (32 blocks, 21 steals).
Arguably the best defense in the country, the Cavaliers rank first in scoring defense (52.7 points allowed per game) and second in defensive field-goal percentage (37.2 percent). On the other end of the spectrum, UVA ranks No. 346 out of 353 Division I teams in scoring (57.7 points per game).