Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
It was only a matter of time for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies (9-7, 1-4 ACC) are talented, experienced, and are able to spread the floor when playing to their capabilities. That’s why it was so rewarding when Mike Young’s squad put it all together Saturday evening, en route to a thrilling 79-73 defeat of Notre Dame.
The maroon and orange still have some work to do after some early damaging losses. Luckily for them, they have an opportunity to get one back on Wednesday evening.
When the NC State Wolfpack (9-9, 2-5 ACC) came into Blacksburg and took down the Hokies earlier this month, it was a demoralizing defeat for Virginia Tech. But the opportunity is there to make up for a deflating showing. Young’s team will try to return the favor when it visits Raleigh this evening for a rematch with the Pack.
Game Day Information
When: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. ET
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
TV: ACC Network
PXP: Jay Alter
Analyst: Malcolm Huckaby
Series History: NC State Leads 41-18
Last Meeting: NC State Won 68-63 on Jan. 4, 2022
Line: Virginia Tech -1
Last Time Out
Weeks of waiting for an accurate representation of what we thought Virginia Tech was going to be, finally came to a close just a few days ago inside Cassell Coliseum.
24 points from Justyn Mutts led the way, but it was Nahiem Alleyne’s 22 points that will make Hokie fans rest easy at night.
The Georgia native had been shooting under 25% in his previous eight contests, so getting a typical sharpshooter going from beyond the arc was crucial for Virginia Tech.
Keve Aluma contributed 17 points down low while Storm Murphy was solid with 12 points of his own. Overall, the Hokies shot nearly 60% from the field, a heightening number, but not unreachable with this team’s potential.
Now can they find some consistency? Can they continue to repeat what took place against the Fighting Irish?
Surprisingly, with Virginia Tech up to 40th in the NET rankings and slotted at 31st by Ken Pomeroy, the 2021-22 campaign is still very much out in front of them.
Can it take advantage? It’s a posing question.
Scouting NC State
When the Wolfpack came into Blacksburg and upset the Hokies just a few weeks ago, it wasn’t exactly surprising who carried Kevin Keatts’ team to victory.
Norfolk native Dereon Seabron dropped 21 points that night — on par with his 19.6 points per game average. The potential ACC Player of the Year candidate also was a menace on the glass, snaring 10 boards. He averages a double-double for the season.
Terquavion Smith and Jerricole Hellems also added 17 points and 15 points, respectively, as Seabron’s main supporting cast has continued to put up productive numbers for NC State.
The Pack outrebounded the Hokies 36-26. The second time around, both Aluma and Mutts are going to have to be big for this Virginia Tech team. This one in Raleigh is one that Virginia Tech desperately needs.
It should be a fun one at PNC Arena.
Can the Hokies win back-to-back games in league play for the first time this season? Or can the Wolfpack sweep the season series against Virginia Tech for the first time since 2014-15?
After NC State came into Cassell Coliseum earlier this season and took care of the hometown Hokies, it’s tough to picture the Wolfpack repeating that effort.
With Virginia Tech finding its footing on Saturday, it just feels as if it’ll find a way to continue the momentum before heading back down to the triangle area to take on North Carolina.
It’s going to be a close, physical game, but we’ll take the Hokies to win in Raleigh for the second straight time.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 74, NC State 69