No. 12 Florida State and No. 16 Virginia Tech have been on a collision course for quite some time now. Well ahead of their only regular-season matchup, it was apparent that the victor would clinch the final double-bye in the ACC Tournament. And after the Seminoles topped the Hokies in an overtime tilt in Tallahassee, it was immediately obvious that these teams would more than likely meet again in the ACC quarterfinals.
And here we are. Fifth-place VT took care of business against 12-place Miami, and that means a showdown with the 4th-place ’Noles at 2:30 pm on ESPN. FSU opened up as a 1.5-point underdog.
Hokies’ starting point guard Justin Robinson remains out with a left foot injury, a significant setback through which Virginia Tech was fought admirably, winning four of its last five games. VT boasts the country’s 8th most efficient offense, one that moves at a snail’s pace, ranking 334th in adjusted tempo.
Tech’s offensive efficiency has a lot to do with its ability to drain threes. While the ’Noles have a pair of players shooting above 35% from beyond the arc, the Hokies have six. Only six teams in the country shoot treys at a higher clip than Virginia Tech’s 39.8%. Second-team All-ACC forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is one of them, and he also leads VT in rebounding and blocks. Third-team All-ACC guard Nickel Alexander-Walker is another, and he’s Virginia Tech’s top scorer, averaging 16.6 PPG.
The Hokie defense is mostly a zone look, which they execute well enough to rank 29th in the land. That can present real problems for an FSU squad that ranks 244th, nationally, in long-range accuracy.
The Seminoles are just a lone seed-line above VT heading into this one. The comments section below will serve as our hangout for discussion before and during this top-20 showdown.