All-time series: Syracuse leads 7-2
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 2nd
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
TV: ACC Network
After starting the ACC schedule 4-1, the Hokies have lost their last 4 games, dropping them to 4-5 in league play. Led by 6-foot-7 junior forward Zach LeDay, who averages 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, Virginia Tech upset then 4th-ranked Virginia earlier this season, 70-68. The upset win over the Cavaliers is by far their best win of the season.
VT is coming off a tough road loss on Sunday night in Pittsburgh, 90-71, in which head coach Buzz Williams called "real bad" during the ACC teleconference earlier Monday. Junior guard Seth Allen averages 14.7 points per game, which is second best on the team. As a team, the Hokies shoot 35% from 3-point range, which is something to keep an eye on. They also average 36 rebounds per game, which is 11th-best in the conference.
Three things to watch:
1. Keeping it close: Despite being 4-5 in league play, VT has played a lot of close games this season. They lost by 2 at Notre Dame, 5 against North Carolina, and 8 at Louisville. All four of their ACC wins have been within five points.
2. Quick turnaround: VT played Sunday night at Pittsburgh and will have the Orange at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, making a quick turnaround. Syracuse played on Saturday afternoon, practiced Sunday and Monday, and will be rested for Tuesday evening. The advantage is in SU's behalf, but that doesn't necessarily mean much. After defeating Wake Forest on a Saturday earlier this season, the Orange came back on Monday night to win at Duke.
3. Fast start: Against Notre Dame last week, the Orange went on a 23-1 run in the first half which all but ended ND's chances of a comeback. The game was out of hand and Syracuse cruised to a 14-point victory. On Saturday, SU struggled in the beginning of the game, but a big second half from Malachi Richardson led the Orange over Georgia Tech, 60-57. Look for Syracuse to get out to a fast start on Tuesday night against a short-rested VT squad. A better start from Richardson and an early run could put the game out of reach early.