NCAA Basketball Picks: Miami vs. Virginia Tech ACC Tournament Action

David Lawrence

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:20 AM GMT

The Miami Hurricanes have to beat Virginia Tech in order to make the NCAA tournament. Then, Miami will have to win another game at the ACC tournament if it wants a realistic chance at getting into the college basketball betting brackets.

The Virginia Tech Hokies Can Win Because…
If the Hurricanes are going to win this game, they might have to do so without point guard Angel Rodriguez. The transfer from Kansas State averages 12.3 points and 4.2 assists per game. He draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses and makes Miami a lot harder to defend. If he’s not in this game, Miami becomes a team with a much more vulnerable offense. It would have only one active double-figure scorer in the lineup, Sheldon McClellan. Virginia Tech would be able to contain Miami and reshape the game in its favor.

The Hokies are also going to be confident for this game after beating Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament on Tuesday. Virginia Tech shot 48.4 percent from the field and 13 of 14 from the free throw line. The Hokies also committed only four turnovers, which is extremely low and a great way to win games. Virginia Tech was a more than respectable 42 percent from three-point range. Why were all these statistics so good? A few role players, such as Christian Beyer (3 of 3 shooting) and Malik Muller (3 of 6), helped out. However, the star was clearly Jalen Hudson. He had a spectacular afternoon, hitting 10 of 18 field goals, 2 of 3 threes, and all 10 free throws for a 32-point performance. If Hudson can stay hot and get the Miami defense on its heels, the Hurricanes will have to double-team Hudson, and that can free up other Virginia Tech players for good shots. The Hokies could then put together an offensive performance as good as what they just did against Wake Forest. If Miami is without Rodriguez, this becomes a very tough game for the Hurricanes to win.

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The Miami Hurricanes Can Win Because…
The Hurricanes do need Rodriguez on their team if they go deeper into the ACC tournament, without question. However, they can handle Virginia Tech without Rodriguez, because they did so this past Saturday with ease. Miami beat Virginia Tech, 82-61, on the road in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Hurricanes hit 60 percent of their threes and took a lot of them. Miami made 15 of 25 threes, part of a day in which the team hit over 46 percent of all field goals. Miami was also 15 of 17 at the free throw line. Miami committed only seven turnovers and plucked six steals. Virginia Tech didn’t get any steals in that game.

Miami got step-up performances from Ivan Cruz Uceda, who scored 18 points, and Manu Lecomte, who scored 20. James Palmer contributed 17 points, and Miami’s bench scored over 30 points to help out the starting five.

 

Outlook
The fact that Miami was so strong against Virginia Tech such a short time ago without Rodriguez means the Hurricanes should be able to handle the Hokies once again, even if Rodriguez is not ready to play. Take the Hurricanes with your NCAA Basketball picks.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Miami at 5Dimes