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2022 NCAA Tournament: Virginia Tech vs Texas Predictions

Virginia Tech Team Huddle 2022 ACC Tourney Title Game

March Madness is here with Virginia Tech in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth-straight time in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the first round against 6 seed Texas. The 11 seed Hokies are arguably the most popular double-digit seed upset pick of the opening round, but Texas has loads of experience and a great coach in Chris Beard who led Texas Tech to the national championship game in 2019.

So will it be the Hokies or the Longhorns who prevail in this highly-anticipated showdown? Here's our picks for Virginia Tech versus Texas.

Tim Thomas

Virginia Tech and Texas are two of the slowest tempo teams in the country so get ready for a slog of a game and not some sort of high-scoring shootout. Beyond that, these teams differ plenty as the Hokies are stronger offensively while Texas is an imbalanced, defensive heavy team though Tech also has a pretty solid defense.

Tech does have some offensive advantages beyond their proven production and shooting as Texas is smaller in the frontcourt and will likely be without their best big man Tre Mitchell. With that in mind, expect plenty of Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts both operating a lot out of the post and if Tech can get going down low, that can open things up.

The Longhorns do have a backcourt advantage with star guards Marcus Carr and Andrew Jones to lead the way for them and potentially provide a scoring boost. Tech will need their guards in form to minimize the potential advantage that the Longhorns have in the backcourt.

However, the Longhorns have struggled lately while the Hokies are one of the hottest teams in the country winning 13 of their past 15 with Tech making it 14 of 16 against Texas led by a strong performance in the paint against a depleted, smaller Texas frontcourt and enough support from their backcourt.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 68, Texas 64

Peyton Seay

There are not as many fans that love a hard-fought defensive battle, but this has the makings of one. Both the Hokies (23-12, 11-9) and the Longhorns (21-11, 10-8) are tough defensively. Both teams rank in the top half of the NCAA in team defense with the Hokies giving up 62.3 points per game and the Longhorns giving up just 59.6 ppg. Offensively, the two teams remain rather close in the number of points they can put up each night.

I see the big difference-maker being what the Hokies can do beyond the arc. They are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NCAA, and the Longhorns play extremely perimeter defense (opponents are shooting just 31.8% from three-point range). Guard Hunter Cattoor, one of the Hokies’ top scoring threats from three, had a monster night in the ACC Tournament title game. The Hokies will need his hot shooting to continue when they take on the Longhorns.

Ultimately, it is a crime the Hokies are an 11th seed heading into the tournament. Coming off an ACC Tournament title, I believe they will be hungry for another win to open up their fifth straight trip to the big dance. With Texas coming off a second day loss to TCU in the Big 12 tournament and seeking their first NCAA tournament win since 2014, this has all the makings of an upset. Give me this hot Hokies team and hopeful beginnings of a deep run in this year’s tournament.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 64, Texas 58

Andy Loce

For the fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament, the Hokies are returning to “The Big Dance” after securing their first ACC Tournament title on Saturday.

There seems to be great deal of optimism for Virginia Tech on a local and national scale, with their hot streak of four wins in four games in Brooklyn; three of which came against tournament teams.

But, it’s a whole new ball game in March Madness. And just like the ACC Tournament, the Hokies will take on the underdog role.

Starting with the Longhorns, it wasn’t the smoothest finish to conference play with two losses to end the regular season in addition to a quarterfinal exit to TCU in the Big 12 Tournament.

Don’t let that overtake your perspective of Texas though, because this team hails from one of the best conferences in all of college basketball. It is also worth noting that in his first year at the helm, Chris Beard has led Texas back into the tournament with a largely transfer-driven roster.

While they finished fourth in the Big 12 conference this year, defense has been their specialty as they average holding opponents to under 60 points per game. That recipe has helped the Longhorns win some tight battles this year, and for a red-hot Virginia Tech team, that presence will once again be turned to help win this first round matchup.

For the Hokies, they found their stride in last week’s ACC Tournament with proficient shooting, now the question is will it continue out in Milwaukee?

Many believe that it will as they are arguably playing their best basketball all season long. Momentum is key during this time of year, and it’s something that the Hokies have more of compared to their opposition.

What we have in store for us at 4:30 p.m. in Milwaukee on Friday is one of the best first round matchups of the tournament, and it should be one that goes back-and-forth for the full 40 minutes.

I am a true believer that momentum has massive weight during tournament time, and that’s something the Hokies have. This roster has experience and now they are playing like one of the better teams in all of college basketball.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 63, Texas 59

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Will Locklin

Two teams on opposing trajectories face off in the Fiserv Forum to kick off their potential March Madness run. Virginia Tech marches in as one of the hottest teams in college basketball. They’ve won their last four games, all a part of their four games in four days ACC Championship run. The Longhorns of Texas are the six seed in this matchup but have lost their last three games to Baylor, Kansas, and TCU. Both teams have similar records, Tech’s being at 23-12 while Texas comes in at 21-11. Interestingly enough, there’s only been one game between these two schools in men’s basketball history. That game was played in 1982 in Hawaii and featured a 53-47 victory for the Hokies.

Texas curiously comes in as a slight one-point favorite despite the large gap in how these two teams are seeded. Their starting lineup features all seniors and the main three guys who come off the bench are upperclassmen. This is an old and experienced group who’s seen plenty of highs and lows for the program. This is a top 15 team in the country according to KenPom data and they’ve also been one of the unluckiest teams in the tournament. They’re a defensive minded team as they had the top scoring defense in the big 12, only allowing 59.6 points per game all season.

Another big strength of Texas is their excellent guard play. Carr, Ramsey, and Jones have been around the block and all make an impact on both ends of the floor. One factor that may decide the game is how Texas guards the three point line. Tech is one of the top shooting teams in the country but Texas allows opponents to shoot 31.8% from three. Andrew Jones must also control the pace of play for Texas and keep it in their favor.

Everyone knows Virginia Tech is peaking at the right time. This Hokies team has put it all together with their stellar defense, interior presence, and inside out offense. Similar to Texas, Virginia Tech was ranked as a highly unlucky team throughout the season. But unlike the Longhorns, the Hokies played in a conference that didn’t allow them many opportunities to notch Quad 1 wins to boost their tournament resume. That’s why winning the ACC Tournament was so critical.

Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts have been the glue that held this Tech team together. They’ll have to show up big, especially on the glass. The play of Hunter Cattoor and Darius Maddox will be massive as well. They're the Hokies top three-point shooters and must capitalize off advantages created by others by knocking down shots from distance. One x-factor is Storm Murphy. Ever since his emergence, Tech has broken out and played their best basketball of the season. His playmaking is a big part of the entire offense.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 66, Texas 59

Carter Hill

What an unbelievable turnaround for Virginia Tech in the 2021-22 campaign.

From 10-10 overall and 2-7 in the ACC, who in their right mind would’ve pictured the Hokies participating in the NCAA Tournament? Well, after winning 13 of their next 15 and crowning themselves ACC champions for the first time in school history, the maroon and orange are dancing. And what do you know? With a pretty favorable matchup, too.

Tabbed as the No. 11 seed in the East Region, Virginia Tech draws sixth-seeded Texas, a team that finished fourth in a solid Big 12, but has lost three in a row, including four of its last six.

Fortunately for the Longhorns, first-year head coach Chris Beard knows a thing or two about winning. The former Texas Tech big whistle took the Red Raiders to the National Championship game back in 2019, and is now poised to make similar strides coaching his alma mater.

He’s got the tools to make a run, too.

Timmy Allen (12.3 points per game) down low is a solid post presence in the paint for Texas, while Marcus Carr (10.9 points per game) and Andrew Jones (10.7 points per game) both offer superb guard play on the offensive end.

The Longhorns are respectable on that side of the ball. But defensively, that’s where they flourish.

The issue for Texas? Well, the Hokies are pretty darn good offensively, too.

Virginia Tech stays hot. Hunter Cattoor, Storm Murphy, Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts continue to put on an offensive showcase, and the Hokies will outshoot the Longhorns to secure a first round victory in Milwaukee.

No. 3 seed Purdue likely awaits on Sunday.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 71, Texas 66

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