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2024 ACC Women’s Tournament: Virginia Tech vs Notre Dame Preview and Prediction

Georgia Amoore 1 VT BC 2024 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

After a disappointing loss to Notre Dame about one week ago, coming as Virginia Tech’s first February loss in two years, the Hokies have a chance to get their revenge in the ACC tournament semifinals. But, this time they are playing without their three time ACC Player of the Year center, Elizabeth Kitley.

The Hokies enter the game as the number one seed in the ACC, coming off a quarterfinal victory over Miami. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish finished only one game behind the Hokies in the regular season, and beat Louisville in the quarterfinals.

Right now, Virginia Tech is in the three seed range for March Madness, while Notre Dame is hovering around a four seed. These teams can likely jump as high as a two seed or as low as a four seed depending on the result in this game, and on Sunday in the ACC Tournament final.

So, besides giving each of these teams the opportunity to compete to earn a spot in the ACC Tournament final, this is a game that could have significant implications on March Madness seeding.

Keys to the Game

How Does Virginia Tech Approach This Matchup Defensively?

Virginia Tech is coming off of a game against Miami, where their 2-3 zone single handedly gave them an opportunity to win, and a matchup against Notre Dame is the perfect opportunity to bring back the 2-3 zone.

The Fighting Irish are just 11th in the ACC in three pointers made per game, and the zone could force Notre Dame to settle for long shots that they aren’t confident in taking. Similarly, running a zone would take the pressure off of either Cayla King or Georgia Amoore having to constantly guard the shifty Hannah Hidalgo, who leads the ACC in scoring and can seemingly get to the rim at will.

Rebounding Battle

The last time these two teams faced off, Notre Dame had an absolutely dominant performance on the glass, out rebounding the Hokies 43-29. Although Notre Dame is a top 20 rebounding team in the country, this came as an absolute surprise, given how great Virginia Tech has also been on the glass this year.

What makes things even worse for the Hokies is that they had the ACC’s leading rebounder Elizabeth Kitley that game, while they won’t have her this time around. Clara Strack, Olivia Summiel, and Rose Micheaux are going to have to step up in a big way to flip the rebounding numbers, because over the last 13 games, winning the rebounding battle has meant winning the game for Virginia Tech.

As Kenny Brooks mentioned after Tech's win over Miami, the Hokies are 11-0 when they have won the rebounding battle, and are 0-2 when they haven’t during the past 13 games.

Matchup of the Game: Georgia Amoore vs Hannah Hidalgo

There shouldn’t be any surprise with this. The matchup of the game happens to be the matchup of arguably the two best guards in the ACC.

As a freshman, Hannah Hidalgo has been Notre Dame’s top player in almost every way, leading the team in points, assists, and steals, while placing second in rebounding as just a 5’6 guard. Hidalgo, and her ACC leading 4.9 steals per game could give Amoore problems, but if the last two games have been any indication, Amoore is ready to take over the game without Kitley at her side.

Prediction: Notre Dame 61, Virginia Tech 57

Georgia Amoore will do her best to put the team on her back with a 30+ point outing, but it won’t be enough without her running mate, Elizabeth Kitley, as Hannah Hidalgo and company will make enough plays to pull out a close win in a low-scoring affair.

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