Neither Virginia Tech nor Virginia headed into 2022 with a ton of confidence. The teams are a combined 4-5 on the road and are still trying to figure things out.
The first meeting of the season between the in-state rivals could help or hinder that need to build confidence. Virginia is hoping that its recent success against Virginia tech.
Virginia has won four of the last five games in the series with Virginia Tech and is 7-1 in its last eight home games against the Hokies.
Virginia (+600) and Virginia Tech (+1000) had the fourth- and fifth-best odds to win the ACC title coming into the season, but neither has been performing like top-five ACC teams.
- Game: Virginia Tech (8-6) vs Virginia (9-6)
- Location: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN2
Virginia Tech Hokies vs Virginia Cavaliers
Three-Point Shooting Key for Visitors
Success has been elusive for the Virginia Tech Hokies after getting off to a 5-0 start.
Virginia Tech has dropped four of its last six games and the one thing that the victories over Cornell and St. Bonaventure showed is that Virginia Tech shot itself to victory.
The Hokies were 12 of 23 from three-point range against Cornell and 13 of 28 against St. Bonaventure. Taking it one step closer, the Hokies have 79 three-pointers in the eight wins and 42 in the six losses.
Most of the success from long range comes from the trio of Hunter Cattoor, Nahiem Alleyne and Storm Murphy. Cattoor has a team-high 33 three-pointers and is shooting 44.6 percent from long range while Alleyne and Murphy each have 22 treys. A total of 17 of Cattoor’s last 26 baskets have come from three-point range. Murphy and Alleye have more diverse offensive games, which could be crucial moving forward.
The good news is that Virginia ranks only ahead of Notre Dame, Boston College and Miami among ACC teams in three-point percentage defense. Virginia Tech happens to lead the ACC in that category, holding opponents to 26.9 percent from three-point range. It is uncertain how much of an impact that will have in the next game since only Pittsburgh has attempted fewer three-pointers among ACC teams than Virginia.
Virginia Tech has failed to cover against the college basketball spreads in four of its last six games, with the Hokies favored in five of those six games.
Beekman, Clark to Point Way for Cavaliers
Points have been hard to come by for the Virginia Cavaliers during an uneven start to the 2021-22 season, but it certainly hasn’t been because the Cavaliers lack playmakers.
Reece Beekman and Kihei Clark rank fourth and fifth in the ACC in assists per game. Beekman is the ACC leader in assist/turnover ratio with 66 assists and only 19 turnovers in 15 games while Clark has 61 assists and 33 turnovers. There are plenty of opportunities for both of them as they are in the top 10 among ACC players in minutes played per game.
Reece Beekman does a lot of little things well, including his decision-making curling off pindowns from UVA’s blocker-mover. Does a nice job reading second defender when those actions snap into screen-roll/pop, along with scoping out opposite guard on boomerang screen
— Brian Geisinger (@bgeis_bird) December 26, 2020
The pace of play has something to do with the rather unimpressive offensive numbers as Virginia attempts only 51 shots per game. Most of the top-scoring teams in the conference are around 60 field goal attempts per game. This methodical style of play is not a new phenomenon, but it does keep Virginia from covering up some other flaws with offensive outbursts.
Virginia is one of four ACC teams that is being outrebounded, and the Cavaliers rank in the bottom half of the ACC in steals. The Cavaliers were outrebounded by eight and allowed North Carolina to connect on 8 of 16 shots from three-point range as the Tar Heels cruised to a 74-58 win in Virginia’s most recent game.
With the way Cavaliers play, defensive struggles like that happened in the second half against North Carolina are too much for them to overcome.
Time will tell if Virginia has better results at home in 2022 than the Cavaliers did late in 2021. Virginia failed to cover against the Las Vegas odds in four of its last five home games of 2021.
Top Two Defensive Teams in ACC Square Off
Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech rank first and second in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing 58.7 and 58.9 points per game.
Each of the last three games between Virginia Tech and Virginia went under the total.
The total of 118½ is one of the lowest among Wednesday’s games, but neither team has shown enough on offense to expect the game to go over even when the total is that low. It won’t be surprising to see those who bet online taking the under.
Both of these teams have been a little underwhelming, but it is hard to go against Virginia playing at home, especially when facing one of the two teams yet to win an ACC game.