The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up their second ACC win of the season this past Monday. Today, the Hokies play the first of three straight road games on in Clemson, South Carolina against the Clemson Tigers.
The Hokies enter this matchup looking to pull off the upset in front of what should be a solid crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum. Meanwhile, the Tigers know that their NCAA Tournament hopes are small at 14-10 currently, and need to win this game.
The Hokies definitely are a much more efficient offensive team as they are 87th in the nation in shooting percentage while Clemson is 284th in field goal percentage. However, Clemson only gives up an average of 60.3 points per game which is 38th in the country which will be a challenge for the Hokies.
One player who has really taken stepped up his game over the last few weeks is Malik Muller who hit the go-ahead three with 16.1 seconds left against Georgia Tech. After only scoring in double figures in one of 19 games, Muller has scored in double figures in three of the last five games with an average of 12.8 points per game.
Clemson will have to keep an eye on Muller throughout this game, and don’t be surprised if Muller makes a couple of threes along with some layups to have around 12 to 15 points.
Clemson does not have great height in the frontcourt, but they have a lot of talent led by the 6’7” Jaron Blossomgame who is averaging 13.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Blossomgame is going to be a challenge for Christian Beyer and Shane Henry in this game, but the Hokies might be able to slow him down.
One player who could be an x-factor is Justin Bibbs who has struggled shooting the basketball in his last two games. However, Bibbs could take over the game if he finds his shooting rhythm. With the emergence of Muller and strong play of Adam Smith, Bibbs likely will have less attention on him which could make him a lot more dangerous.
Clemson is coming off a tough home loss to Notre Dame that could have made the Tigers a serious bubble team for the NCAA Tournament. This is a risky pick given the talent of the Tigers, but the fact that the Tigers won’t tower over the Hokies in the frontcourt helps along with how Clemson shoots almost 10% worse from beyond the arc than the Hokies.
Get ready for a mini-upset in the ACC as the Hokies pick up their first road victory in the ACC led by Malik Muller and Adam Smith.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 65, Clemson 61