The Virginia Military Institute Keydets and Virginia Tech Hokies stay home in the state of Virginia on Thursday night. They are scheduled to meet at Cassell Coliseum for this matchup. There won’t be fans in attendance, which has been disappointing across the country this season. The environment at college basketball games is something that can’t be compared.
In plenty of sports home field or home court advantage doesn’t mean much, but when it comes to the hardwood in college, a packed stadium can provide a team with a serious advantage. That’s not the case at Virginia Tech or anywhere else this season. The pandemic should be under control by the summer, but that doesn’t do college basketball any good.
In other words, there certainly won’t be any fans for the NCAA Tournament either. The product on the court has been pretty entertaining so far, though. It’s better to look at the positives than the negatives in a situation like this, and at least we are talking about college basketball right now. That is something to be positive about.
The Hokies have a lot to feel positive over their first three games. Virginia Tech are a perfect 3-0 to get the season started and have done it in impressive fashion. That includes a nice 81-73 win over the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday. Villanova are a good team, and despite the loss, expect the Wildcats to play good basketball this season.
Virginia Tech ranks No. 16 in the nation going into Thursday. The Hokies finished the 2019-20 season with a record of 16-16, so their effort thus far has been much different than the team we saw play last year. It’s best to keep things in perspective, though. It is a long season after all.
VMI have been in decent form through three games. They lost the game they were expected to lose, 86-65 against Penn State, and beat the two games they were projected to win against St Andrews, 90-63, and Longwood, 84-71. Head below for our free VMI vs. Virginia Tech pick for December 3, 2020.
Virginia Military Institute Keydets vs. Virginia Tech Hokies NCAAM Betting Odds:
VMI vs. Virginia Tech Prediction:
There has been nothing to dislike about what Virginia Tech has accomplished so far this season. They’ve been holding up well, and pulled off one of their biggest wins in a long time last weekend. Forward Keve Aluma had a productive game, as he went for 23 points and 8 boards to lead the Hokies. In an era that favors a lot of guard play, having a big down low like Aluma provides a lot of mismatches against small lineups.
Aluma was named the ACC Player of the Weeks thanks to his effort through three games. He has averaged 18 points on 65.6% shooting and 5 rebounds. Is there a guy on VMI that can lock up with Aluma and slow him down? Not even shut him down, but is VMI good enough around the rim to slow Aluma down? I don’t see it happening on Thursday night. If Aluma plays big minutes, he’s going to rake in a lot of points for the Hokies tonight.
What I like about Virginia Tech most was how they responded following the win over Villanova. Good teams know how to follow up and avoid a letdown spot. Virginia Tech kept things rolling with a 76-58 win over South Florida. Tyrece Radford led all scorers in that game with 21 points. Radford has played a lot of minutes this season, and will likely play a key role tonight for the Hokies again tonight.
Against the one notable team that VMI played this season, Penn State, the Keydets were blown out against an unranked Penn State team on the road. The Nittany Lions blew things open in the second half, as they outscored VMI, 49-30, to pull away for a 86-65 win.
Virginia Tech has looked much more impressive than Penn State this season. If Virginia Tech wants to they can likely win here by over 30 points. They likely call off the dogs late, though, enabling VMI to keep things closer to the point spread. Virginia Tech by 25 points to cover 21.5 looks like a good bet.