The Virginia Tech Hokies won a tough game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in which Jalen Hudson had 32 points including a game-winning layup inside the final 13 seconds. The Hokies had some really good and really bad runs in this game, but were able to find a way to take down the Demon Deacons and advance.
Now, the Hokies will face a team that they just played last Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes.
The Hokies have put together two solid halves of basketball against Miami, but also have had two really bad halves that caused Virginia Tech to lose both games by more than 20 points. However, the Hokies might be able to pull off the upset, especially since they have shown that they can put together two solid halves against the Hurricanes.
The one player who also could make this a completely different game from the first time these two teams met is Jalen Hudson.
Hudson has been one of the most inconsistent players due to his inconsistent effort, but when his effort is in "Tyrone" mode as coined by Buzz Williams, Hudson is the best player on the floor. Against Duke and Wake Forest, Hudson's effort was there and he shined with 23 points against Duke and 32 points against Wake Forest.
The question is whether Hudson can replicate that energy in back-to-back games? Miami will know that Hudson can do this, but whether Hudson's effort is there is the question. If it is, Miami will have a hard time even trying to keep him under 20 points.
Satchel Pierce struggled against Wake Forest, but will look to bounce back against the Hurricanes. Last Saturday, Pierce helped the Hokies shut down Tonye Jekiri but the ACC's leading rebounder will look to get some payback in this game. Pierce might not do as well as he did last Saturday, but he will slow down Jekiri.
Malik Muller hasn't put up big numbers recently, but he has been quietly shooting the basketball at an efficient rate. Muller is a guy that seems prime to go off for 15+ points and no one should be surprised if he does that.
The Hurricanes are dangerous from beyond the arc, and the Hokies will not only need to hustle on defense but also play smart out of the zone to make sure Manu Lecomte, Davon Reed, and James Palmer don't get many open threes in this matchup.
This will be a very high scoring game as the Hurricanes will want to win this one to stay right in the middle of the battle to make the NCAA Tournament. This will be a tough game and Jalen Hudson will play well, but the Hokies run will come to an unfortunate end in a high-scoring, close game against the Hurricanes.
Prediction: Miami 80, Virginia Tech 78