ACC Round 1: Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech AT Virginia Tech
Mar 10, 2011 at 9:25 PM EST
Opening Line:  Va Tech -5.5
Current Line: Va Tech -5.5
Opening Total:  133.5
Current Total:  133.5
Opening Moneyline:  Va Tech -225 / Ga Tech +205
Current Moneyline:  Va Tech -240 / Ga Tech +220

St. John's DePaul Big East Preview
Virginia Tech is favored by 5.5 points in the opening round of the ACC tournament

Tonight’s matchup is the 1st round of the ACC Conference Tournament.  Virginia Tech (19-10) is the #4 seed with a 9-7 conference record, while Georgia Tech (13-17) is the #10 seed with a 5-11 ACC record.

Georgia Tech, after going through a rough stretch in which they won just 1 of 9 games, they have rallied to win their last 2 games, one against Wake Forest and the other against Miami (FL).  They disposed of Wake by 26 points and won the Miami game by 9, so Georgia Tech has shown the signs of life necessary to succeed at this crucial point in the season.

Both teams sport positive point differentials, but Virginia Tech’s (+8.0) is quite a bit better than Georgia Tech’s (+1.3).  Both teams score roughly the same (Ga Tech 68.6, and Va Tech 71.1), but Virginia Tech’s defense is much more stingy, giving up only 63.1 points per game.  Neither team ranks high in the main four statistical categories (Points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, and field goal percentage).

Some betting trends:

Virginia Tech is 15-6 SU in their last 21 games and they are 4-1 SU in their last 5 against Georgia Tech.  The total has gone OVER in 5 of Virginia Tech’s last 6 games against Georgia Tech.  Virginia Tech has won 4 of the last 5 meetings between the teams, as well and blew out Georgia Tech by 25 last time the teams met.

Georgia Tech is led by 6’5″ junior guard Iman Shumpert, who posts averages of 16.5 points per game, 3.4 assists per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, and 2.5 steals per contest.  He’s effective at getting to the basket and averages 5.2 free throw attempts per game.  Over his last three games he is averaging 23 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game, including a 30 point game in a win over UNC on January 16th.  They also get big contributions from Glen Rice Jr., a 6’5″ sophomore son of NBA legend Glen Rice.   He’s not quite the shooter his father was, but he does average 12.9 points in 28 minutes a game and is still developing.  In his freshman season he shot 46.7% from three, but had a small sample size of 60 attempts on the year.  Georgia Tech’s only other big cog in the machine is 6’6″ sophomore swingman Brian Oliver.  Oliver is second on the team in minutes played and averages 10.6 points per game.  He’s having a horrible year from behind the arc, having gone 32 of 105.  He’s already had two games with 11 attempted threes, though, so he’s not afraid to fire away from downtown.

Virginia Tech is led by the quarteet of Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, Erick Green, and Dorenzo Hudson.  They have a strong six man rotation in which all six players play over 25 minutes a game, and 5 of the 6 play over 30 minutes a night.  Delaney, a 6’3″ senior point guard, averages 18.9 points per game, 4.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and shoots 42.5% from three.   He’s scored in double figures in every Hokies’ game except for two (Wake Forest & Purdue).  He’s had seven games with 20 points or more and has a season high of 30, which he scored in a 12 point loss to UNLV.  Jeff Allen is a strong presence inside despite being only 6’7″.  He averages 11.9 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 9.3 boards a game.  He’s posted seven double doubles this season and also averages over 1 stl + 1 blk, showing his defensive prowess.   He’ll be checked by Oliver but may need to be switched onto a bigger man to help control him on the offensive boards, as he is averaging 2.5 offensive rebounds per night.

This game between the two ACC Rivals should be a good one.  Virginia Tech is a better team, but Georgia Tech is capable of winning against good teams.  They are finally emerging from a season long slump that made their chances look rather destitute.

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