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Virginia Tech - Illinois Preview

Virginia Tech (5) Vs. Illinois (12)
Friday, 3/16 @ 7:10
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Virginia Tech -2.5

The Virginia Tech Hokies (21- 11, 10- 6 ACC) finished tied for second with three other teams I the ACC and during the regular season put away Duke, UNC and Maryland. The Illinois Fighting Illini (23- 11, 9- 7 Big 10) finished fourth in their league and went all the way to the ACC semi-finals where they lost to Wisconsin but beat Indiana on the way.

If Virginia Tech can keep their main men out of foul trouble, they will win. The Hokies can beat quality teams and know how to win tight games. Senior guard Jamon Gordon (11.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.6 APG) is excellent at setting up plays and defending. However, he should not take any threes (26%). Senior guard Zabian Dowdell (18.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG) can score and dish it off. Swingman Deron Washington (11.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG) leads the team in rebounds and is complimented nicely by sophomore guard/forward A.D. Vassallo (11.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG).

The big problem for Illinois is point production. Only two of their players have averaged double numbers this season—senior forward Warren Carter (13.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG) and junior swingman Shaun Pruitt (11.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG). Neither have what you’d call stellar stats. Carter is the team’s best three-point shooter at 41%. Sophomore guard Chester Frazier (7.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.4 APG) has good court vision and is also a decent defender.

For Illinois to win, they will either have to shut down Tech’s balanced attack or step-up their offense. Neither will be easy, but the former seems more probable than the latter.

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