ACC Basketball: Tuesday Night Preview

After a very exciting and busy weekend of basketball around the ACC, I’m back this week with a look at Tuesday night’s conference match-ups. There are three top 10 teams on the slate for the evening, two of which are coming off of tough weekend losses. How will they respond? Let’s find out.

The Match-Up

Virginia Tech (8-7, 0-2, RPI: 256) Vs. #6 Louisville (14-2, 2-1, RPI: 25)

Their Last Game

Virginia Tech

The Hokies left their defense at home in their last contest a week ago, losing to Florida State on the road 86-75.


UNC’s star point guard Marcus Paige hit a high-arcing lay-up with less than 6 seconds left on Saturday in Chapel Hill, which handed Louisville a very tough second loss of the season by a score of 72-71.

Players To Watch

G/F Justin Bibbs, Virginia Tech

Justin Bibbs has been one of the lone bright spots for the Hokies. In his true freshman season, he has averaged 13.5 points per game on 50% shooting, and has been Virginia Tech’s most consistent player both offensively and defensively so far this season. If anyone on the Hokies roster is going to give Louisville pause, Bibbs is the guy.

G Terry Rozier, Louisville

Sophomore guard Terry Rozier continues to do a little bit of everything for the Cardinals. His stellar second season continued Saturday, as he did everything he could to keep Louisville in the game. Rozier scored 25 points against North Carolina on 10-21 shooting, and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Not too shabby for a first year starter on the national stage.

The Game And Prediction

With Virginia Tech big man Joey Van Zegeren unable to play due to his lingering indefinite suspension, the Hokies are left with nobody to man the paint. If you thought Tech was over-matched before, enter former VT commit Montrezl Harrell, who just happens to be one of the best big men in the country for Louisville. The Cardinals additionally have a backcourt led by Terry Rozier that will make life absolutely miserable for Devin Wilson and the rest of the Hokie guards. The Cardinals are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina in the final seconds, and Rick Pitino’s Cardinals should have plenty of reason to come in more motivated than usual to face one of the bottom-feeders of the conference. Louisville enters the match-up as a 23 point home favorite, and nothing much to see here, they’ll cover.

Louisville 74   Virginia Tech 48

The Match-Up

Clemson (9-6, 1-2, RPI: 109) Vs. #2 Virginia (15-0, 3-0, RPI: 3)

Their Last Game


The Tigers were able to eek out a good road win against a young Pittsburgh Panthers squad on Saturday for the team’s first conference victory, by a score of 71-62.


Facing one of their toughest tests yet, the ‘Hoos went into South Bend and defeated #12 Notre Dame on Saturday in a defensive struggle, 62-56, to pick up their third ACC win and remain undefeated.

Players To Watch

F Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson

Blossomgame has been a constant offensive force for the Clemson Tigers. He is coming off of an 18 point, 6 rebound effort in his club’s most recent win on the road against Pittsburgh, and has been consistently around 14 points and 8 rebounds this season. He’s their best player and will need to play well again against Virginia on Tuesday night.

G Justin Anderson, Virginia

The 6’6″ monster athlete has been an absolute lightning rod for the Virginia offense this season. He continues making field goals at a ridiculously high rate in conference play, converting on 57% of his jump shots, and leading the Cavaliers in scoring at 14.9 points per game. His perimeter defense has also been stellar, as UVA boasts the nation’s top ranked scoring defense at 51.1 points per game, thanks in large part to Anderson’s contributions.

The Game And Prediction

While Clemson has continued to compete well against most of the teams they have played this season, they are simply going to be overmatched in this game. Jaron Blossomgame and Damarcus Harrison provide some scoring for the Tigers, but at 64.7 points per game, Clemson ranks 258th in the nation in scoring. Combine this lower-tier offense against UVA’s #1 ranked scoring defense, and you do not get a favorable combination. Oh, and UVA is #2 in the country, undefeated, a 17 point favorite at home. Advantage ‘Hoos, and the spread will be covered.

UVA 68  Clemson 46

The Match-Up

Wake Forest (9-8, 1-3, RPI: 138) Vs. Syracuse (12-4, 3-0, RPI: 46)

Their Last Game

Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons were able to secure their first conference win of the season at home on Saturday against Georgia Tech, 76-69.


The Orange coasted on Sunday night to an easy win over Florida State at the Carrier Dome by a final of 70-57.

Players To Watch

F Devin Thomas, Wake Forest

Thomas continues to thrive for lowly Wake Forest, averaging 13.1 points per game and 9.7 rebounds. He seems to consistently find a way to produce double-doubles, which makes him a constant threat to whichever opponent he faces. While it may be hard to take Wake Forest seriously at times as an opponent, Devin Thomas reminds you that both he, and the team, still play hard.

F Tyler Roberson, Syracuse

After starting forward Chris McCullough tore his ACL on Sunday night against Florida State, Roberson stepped into his place, scoring 5 points and pulling down 9 rebounds in the victory. He will be the player to watch in this game, as all eyes will be on Roberson and his ability to effectively fill in for McCullough on Tuesday, and throughout the rest of the season.

The Game And Prediction

After struggling through their first two conference games against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, Syracuse was able to finally hit their offensive stride on Saturday night against Florida State. Much of the offensive success in the game came in large part due to guard Trevor Cooney at last having a hot shooting night, finishing with a 28 point effort after converting on 7-11 three point attempts. Wake Forest has an offense that runs through their big men, but the offense will only be effective if they are able to penetrate the very tough Syracuse zone. While I think Wake Forest can hang early behind Devin Thomas, look for Syracuse to pull away late on Tuesday night, covering the 8.5 point spread.

Syracuse 65  Wake Forest 54

The Match-Up

Miami (FL) (11-4, 1-1, RPI: 78) Vs. #4 Duke (14-1, 2-1, RPI: 6)

Their Last Game

Miami (FL)

While it wasn’t pretty, the Hurricanes were able to survive at home against Boston College on Saturday. They were tested, but ultimately were able to get some stops late, and secure a 60-56 victory over the Eagles.


Ah, the Blue Devils. They could not handle N.C. State in their Sunday matinee, losing 87-75 on the road to the ‘Pack. The three guard trio of the Wolfpack, (like I successfully predicted in the weekend preview!) proved to be too much offense for Duke’s backcourt defense in this one, which will be a match-up that could hurt the Blue Devils against other teams later this season.

Players To Watch

C Tonye Jekiri, Miami (FL)

Jekiri made the biggest play of the game, pulling down a rebound in the final seconds against Boston College on Saturday, securing the team’s 60-56 win. After pulling down 15 rebounds in a machine-like effort, the only question is whether or not he can do it again versus a much better Duke frontcourt led by Jahlil Okafor.

F Justise Winslow, Duke

Justise Winslow is due for a big game against the Hurricanes, as he seemingly sputtered offensively in his team’s loss to N.C. State on Sunday afternoon. Winslow finished with 10 points, but only converted on 3-13 shooting from the field in what amounted to a disappointing performance. Look for him to bounce back in this contest against Miami on Tuesday night.

The Game And Prediction

In the Jim Larranaga era at Miami (FL), the Hurricanes have always had larger frontcourts that have bothered Coach K’s Blue Devils. More often than not, the ‘Canes were able to create mismatches against Duke, and play them tougher than some of the other lesser teams of the ACC. However, this year with Jahlil Okafor, a big man, starring for Coach K, the imposing Miami frontcourt is no longer an issue. Additionally, Duke has the backcourt and wing players to combat Miami’s offensive attack, which should lead to a double-digit Blue Devils victory, even if it’s not by the 15 point spread.

Duke 84  Miami (FL) 76


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