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Game Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami Hurricanes

NCAA Basketball: ACC conference tournament-Virginia Tech vs Miami Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017

Game Time: 9 p.m

Location: Watsco Center | Coral Gables, Fla.

Broadcast: ACC Network, WQAM560

Stream: WatchESPN

All-Time Series: Miami leads 19-13

Current Streak: Miami won 1

Ahh, we’re back to the sweet and comfortable confine that is the Watsco Center. How pleasant.

Save for the disappointing loss to a powerful Florida State team one week ago, the Hurricanes (15-7, 5-5 ACC) have taken home court advantage to a new level, winning 23 of its last 25 games at the WAT. In fact, in six seasons under Jim Larranaga, Miami holds a 73-22 overall record at home (40-7 non-conference, 34-15 ACC).

Anyway, let’s get to the real reason we’re here: A battle with Virginia Tech (16-6, 5-5 ACC). The Hokies have lost six of their past seven meetings in this series.

Following an impressive road win over NC State last weekend, it’s a necessity for the Canes to lock up a ‘W’ tonight in their fourth-to-last home game ... Especially with the imminent matchup against No. 4 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center (no joke, real name for UL’s stadium) this coming Saturday.

Coach L, speaking about what the Canes need to focus on, said:

"They play very, very hard defensively and we have to play very hard and very smart against them. The matchups are a little different against them because they have a lot of left-handed guys and they have a lot of different ways to score."

Miami will have a prime opportunity to continue to wreak havoc on the glass against a Hokie team that’s allowed 42 second-chance points in their last two games.

Four day ago marked the Weekend of the Izundu Breakout, as the G.O.A.T. Ebuka Izundu notched 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and added a block and steal for good measure. That is good. Izundu totaled 13 points in Miami’s first nine ACC games this season. That is not good. I expect to see at least 15-20 minutes thrown Ebuka’s way tonight, thus, it is vital he resembles the productive IZUNDU that made y’all wonder if he’s better draft prospect than Dennis Smith, Jr. All jokes aside, Izundu will forever have a special place in our hearts.

Offensively, assuming Izundu doesn’t exactly replicate his NC State performance, Davon Reed (15.8 ppg), Ja’Quan Newton (15.0 ppg) and Bruce Brown (12.1 ppg) will need to lead the way once again. The trio has accounted for 59.0% (942 of 1597 total points) of Miami’s scoring this season. Since ACC play began, that number has hiked all the way up to 66 percent.

Now, two-thirds of a team’s scoring coming from three different guys isn’t the most bizarre concept out there. However, when the Canes score at or more than 70 points, they’re 14-1 overall this season. In five of their seven losses, Miami failed to reach the 60-point mark.

Don’t be afraid to step into the comment section for some in-game shenanigans.

Let’s score points, shall we?

Analysis after the game.


Miami probable starters:

F Dewan Huell

F Kamari Murphy

G Ja'Quan Newton

G Davon Reed

G Bruce Brown

Virginia Tech probable starters:

F Ty Outlaw

F Khadim Sy

G Seth Allen

G Justin Robinson

G Justin Bibbs