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FSU vs Virginia Tech preview and game thread

When FSU and Virginia Tech last met on January 10th the Noles were reeling and in desperate need of a win. They’d lost 3 of 4 including at home to Princeton and an embarrassing loss at Clemson. The TN fan base was up in arms and the student newspaper published a column calling for Leonard Hamilton’s job. Well, things have changed. Five weeks later the Seminoles are battling for the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament, and barring a complete meltdown will appear in their 4th consecutive NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

The Hokies (14-11, 3-7) have been the biggest disappointment in the ACC. With a good mix of veterans and freshman and the conferences best point guard they were expected to compete in the post Duke-UNC pod for 3rd to 6th place in the conference and an NCAA bid. Instead, they’re fighting to stay ahead of the three teams everyone knew would be horrible. In conference play they have the 9th rated offense and the 9th rated defense. PG Erick Green is their do-everything player, as he leads the team in points, minutes, assists and steals. He makes 37% of his 3s and half his 2s. In the Hokies 63-59 loss to FSU in January, Green scored 21 points. The other player who played well in that game was freshman Dorian Finney-Smith who scored 9 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Following the FSU game he promptly went on an 0-25 shooting streak, prompting coach Greenberg to address the media multiple times pointing out that the streak was his fault, and not Finney-Smith’s. He took the blame because the staff had been re-working his shooting motion. Since missing 25 straight shots, Finney-Smith has averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds over his past three games, making 61% of his 2s and 50% of his 3s. He’s finally playing like everyone expected him to play.

On defense the Hokies don’t force turnovers (222nd nationally) and don’t keep teams off the offensive glass (259th). They’ve given up more than a point per possession in six straight games.

The game tips at 7pm from the Donald L Tucker Center, and is broadcast on ESPN2. The Noles are a 9.5 point favorite in Vegas, and Pomeroy has FSU -10.