ACC Tournament Friday Previews (Late Session)
No. 2 Duke (26-5) vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech (16-16), 7:00 PM, ESPN2/ACC Network/ESPN3
Duke probably dodged a bullet by not drawing Clemson in this game, but the Hokies did give Duke a scare in Durham not long ago. Still, Virginia Tech is so offensively limited that Duke should win this one easily.
Key to the game: Virginia Tech’s support players. Even with Ryan Kelly sitting out this game with an injury, Virginia Tech really doesn’t have much of a chance to win if Dorenzo Hudson and Erick Green are their only scoring threats. Last time Virginia Tech played Duke, Cadarian Raines chipped in 16 points and no one else offered much help. Jarrell Eddie had nine rebounds, but fouled out. Dorian Finney-Smith shot just 2-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-8 from the foul line. If only Green and Hudson are on, it makes the Hokies very easy to defend.
Random stat: Duke shot just 25% from three in their last meeting against Virginia Tech. It was their lowest mark since February 2nd.
Prediction: Duke 75, Virginia Tech 62
No. 3 Florida State (21-9) vs. No. 6 Miami (19-11), 9:00 PM, ESPN2/ACC Network/ESPN3
This one should be exciting, which means it will probably be terrible. But the bottom line is Florida State has as clear a path as it has ever had to win this Tournament for the first time, and Miami needs a win over a good team in the worst way.
Key to the game: Can Florida State shut down Miami’s bigs? Georgia Tech seemed to do that just fine, holding Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson to 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting. Johnson missed the second game against FSU, but Kadji had 15 points and Dequan Jones had a nice game as well. Florida State has so much length inside and Bernard James gives everyone trouble. If they can make Miami one-dimensional, the Seminoles should win easily.
Random stat: Miami averaged 1.01 points per possession in a home win over Florida State a few weeks ago. It was the second-highest average put up against FSU in ACC play – Clemson led the way in FSU’s ACC debut, putting up 1.04 points per possession against FSU.
Prediction: Florida State 73, Miami 61