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FSU basketball: Virginia Tech preview

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

After a big win over Miami, FSU was sitting at 4-5 in conference and staring at two coin flip games. The Noles dropped the first one to Clemson, and now needs to win on the road to maintain a decent probability of making some kind of post season.

Virginia Tech only has one ACC win, but they've been playing really well over the past two weeks, at least until the final minutes. They led Virginia by ten before the heavily favored Hoos went on a 17-4 run to the end the game. Then the Hokes beat Pitt. They followed up that win with a tough 3-point loss on the road to Wake Forest. And then, on Tuesday, they built a 13-point lead over Syracuse with 5:35 to play before they - in the words of head coach Buzz Williams - peed down their own leg. Syracuse won at the buzzer.

One problem for Virginia Tech is that 7-footer Satchel Pierce is their only player over 6-8, and he's not particularly skilled. He fouled out versus Syracuse, allowing Rakeem Christmas to dominate down the stretch.

They rely on a small lineup, and they shoot a lot of 3s, making 39% (2nd best in the conference). Outside of 3s, they can really struggle. They don't get to the line, and they don't get a lot of offensive boards.

Defensively, their rebounding has been a nightmare. They are the worst defensive rebounding team in the nation among major conference programs.

FSU won the first time these two played specifically because of Virginia Tech's failure to rebound. The Noles grabbed 52% of their own misses. It also didn't hurt that Devon Bookert and Robbie Berwick combined to go 6-10 from beyond the arc.

The game tips at 3 pm and will be broadcast on Raycom Sports and ESPN3. Virginia Tech is a 1-point favorite.