Louisville vs #22 Virginia Tech Road to March Madness

Louisville vs #22 Virginia Tech Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Both Louisville and No. 22 Virginia Tech will be NCAA Tournament teams, but they also can still possibly win the ACC regular-season title – although the loser Wednesday can’t. The Hokies will be favored on the NCAAB odds. They are +10000 to win the national title and the Cards +6600.

Louisville at Virginia Tech NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Jan. 6, Louisville hosted Virginia Tech and the Cards won 73-71 when they were unranked and Tech was No. 19. David Johnson scored 17 points, including a crucial free throw with five seconds left, and Louisville withstood a missed 3-point try at the buzzer. The Cardinals led 47-33 early in the second half before Tech closed within 72-71 on Keve Aluma’s two free throws with 6.6 seconds left. Johnson was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and missed the second of two free throws, giving the Hokies a final chance. Louisville has won 17 straight games in this series.

Why Bet on Louisville? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Cardinals (13-5) got a huge win Saturday at Duke, 80-73 in OT, despite a career-high 37 points from the Blue Devils’ Matthew Hurt on 15-for-21 shooting. Hurt notched his first career 30-point game and had the highest point-total by a Blue Devil since Grayson Allen in November of 2017. The sophomore fouled out with 19 seconds remaining in the extra period, however, before the Cardinals iced the game at the free throw line.

Hurt accounted for 15 of Duke’s 26 made field goals (57.7 percent) – the second-highest percentage of field goals to one player at Duke – and the most against a Division-I opponent, trailing only Gordon Carver, who made seven of Duke’s 11 field goals in a win over Norfolk NAS (1/5/44) – a 61-28 Duke loss.

Louisville has won three straight and five of the last eight in the series. Louisville is the first team, other than North Carolina, to sweep a two-game regular season series from Duke since Maryland in 2007.

Carlik Jones led Louisville with 25 points, seven in OT. Jae’Lyn Withers scored 16 points with nine rebounds for Louisville while Samuell Williamson scored 14 with 12 rebounds. The Cardinals scored 20 of their 36 first-half points in the paint, and recorded 44 of their 80 points in that area. UofL dominated the glass 41-33, improving to 11-1 when outrebounding the opposition this season.

However, the news was not all good as senior forward/center Malik Williams reinjured his right foot in the second half at Duke and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery. The Cardinals’ team co-captain and the most experienced returnee, Williams has played in the last three games after missing Louisville’s first 15 games after he developed a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot and had surgery to repair the break on Nov. 11. The runner-up in the 2019-20 ACC Sixth Man of the Year voting, Williams scored in double figures on 10 occasions as a junior and 23 times for his career.

Why Bet on Virginia Tech? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Virginia Tech absolutely destroyed visiting Wake Forest on Saturday, 84-46. Three Hokies reached double figures in scoring including, forward Keve Aluma (23 points) and guards Tyrece Radford (15) and Nahiem Alleyne (13).  Aluma led the team in scoring for the eighth time this season. Aluma also reached the 20 point mark for the fifth time this year.

Tech shot 53% from the field which is one of the best shooting performances against an ACC opponent in Tech history. From the three, the Hokies shot even better shooting 54% from behind the arc with a total of 13 3-pointers.  The 38-point win marked the largest margin of victory in an ACC game for Tech, topping the previous high of 29 points (Wake Forest; Jan. 15, 2011).

Tech went with the starting lineup of Alleyne, Aluma, Wabissa Bede, Justyn Mutts and Radford for the 15th time this season, and the second since Jan 23. against Syracuse. The Hokies are now 10-3 with this lineup.

On the defensive end, the Hokies forced Wake to commit 18 turnovers and Tech registered 26 points off those mistakes. Tech’s defense caused Wake to shoot just 27% from the field and 31% from three which resulted in the lowest point total an opponent has recorded against the Hokies this season with 46. Tech dominated Wake Forest on defense, collecting nine steals and a season-high 10 blocks

“Virginia Tech came out today and imposed their will both mentally and physically on our team,” Deacons coach Steve Forbes said. “That’s a team that has a lot at stake, they’re playing for the NCAA tournament, and they played like it. I thought they executed at a really high level. They played connected, they played really hard, they played for each other. I don’t mean this in a bad way, they played violently.“

Expert Prediction

  • Virginia Tech 68, Louisville 65

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