The Virginia Tech Hokies are looking to bounce back tonight after a blowout loss this past weekend against the Clemson Tigers. The Hokies are taking on an inconsistent Miami Hurricanes team that is looking to become more consistent, and make the NCAA Tournament.
The Hurricanes' game against Boston College was postponed to Monday, and played a double overtime thriller to get the victory. However, the Hurricanes will have had about 48 hours to recover from that victory which included a flight back to Coral Gables from Boston.
Miami has one of the best rebounders in the ACC in Tonye Jekiri who is averaging 8.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Satchel Pierce will likely be put against Jekiri early due to Pierce's height being equal to Jekiri. However, Pierce will not last long if he struggles tonight which could definitely happen with the way he has playing.
The Hokies really need Pierce to step up on the glass tonight, but that does not seem very likely.
Adam Smith has been the Hokies' most dangerous shooter from beyond the arc this season, and the Hokies will look to him to hit some big threes in this game. Smith will be ready to have a solid game with 13-15 points though Smith could go off for a huge game against the inconsistent Hurricanes.
Miami is probably the best shooting team that the Hokies have faced in a few weeks with Davon Reed and Manu Lecomte both shooting over 44% from beyond the arc. The Hokies will need to defend the arc well with the Hurricanes not being very good offensively in the post, and only solid on the glass with Tonye Jekiri.
Malik Muller has stepped up his game in the last few weeks, and no one should be surprised if he ends up in double figures again with around 12 to 13 points. Justin Bibbs has struggled the last few games, but he could definitely be someone that breaks out today which make him a potential x-factor.
The Hokies will be ready for this game, and the inconsistency of Miami makes this game a tough one to predict. However, the Hokies will face a Miami team that will be ready to go as they look to make the NCAA Tournament. Miami will get the victory over the Hokies in this game though it won't be a blowout.
Prediction: Miami 75, Virginia Tech 65