7:00 p.m. ET – No. 20 Virginia Tech at Notre Dame (-1) O/U:140
The 11-3 Hokies travel to South Bend for an ACC showdown with the 5-8 Irish tonight. Virginia Tech is coming off a road loss to Syracuse on Saturday, 78-60. Virginia Tech struggled mightily against the length of the vaunted 2-3 Syracuse zone, shooting under 33 percent from the field. The Hokies didn’t play much defense, either, allowing the Orangemen to shoot over 50 percent. Notre Dame, winners of two games in a row, most recently defeated Miami 73-59 on Sunday. Notre Dame shot lights out, knocking down 55 percent of its 3-point attempts. These two teams met back on Jan. 10, when Virginia Tech turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a 77-63 win. It is rare to see a 5-8 team favored over a nationally ranked team they already lost to earlier in the season. That, however, is the case here and a major reason for that is because Virginia Tech’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, Tyrece Radford, has been suspended indefinitely following a DUI arrest and will not be suiting up for this one.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Virginia Tech||pk (-110)||—||O 139½ (-105)|
|Notre Dame||pk (-110)||—||U 139½ (-115)|
Virginia Tech is led by forward Keve Aluma, who averages 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The man who will be forced to step up in Radford’s absence is sophomore guard Jalen Cone, who currently averages 10.9 points per game. Cone led the Hokies with 18 points in the previous matchup with the Irish and they will need a similar performance if they would like to complete the season sweep. Notre Dame’s leading scorer and rebounder is forward Nate Laszewski, who averages 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Laszewski was held to three field goals in the first matchup, but was able to get to the free throw line where he made 11-of-12 attempts.
Notre Dame’s record is misleading. The Fighting Irish have much more talent than the record reflects. A difficult non-conference schedule caught up to them and hindered their ability to mesh. Now the Irish are playing their best basketball of the season, winning two games in a row by double digits. Virginia Tech is headed in the other direction following its most uninspired effort of the season and the suspension of its second-best player. The line opened with Virginia Tech as a favorite and flipped to Notre Dame instantly because sharp bettors are backing the Irish. The Irish are 3-0 straight-up as favorites this season and that record will improve to 4-0 tonight.