#20 Notre Dame at Virginia Tech Preview and Pick

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Jan 15, 2017
[caption id="attachment_4387" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Can Zach LeDay and the Hokies beat Notre Dame? [Credit: Harley Taylor] Can Zach LeDay and the Hokies beat Notre Dame? [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish face off in a battle of two of the most underrated head coaches in college basketball in Mike Brey and Buzz Williams ho consistently have proven an ability to build winners and the maintain them as Notre Dame has done a lot with Mike Brey and as Buzz Williams has done at Marquette and now with the Hokies. Notre Dame is a very good shooting team that has proven to be quite efficient offensively once again this season as they seem to always be under Mike Bray. One positive thing for the Hokies is that Notre Dame isn't that deep of a team with both teams having eight-man rotations which should mean that the Hokies shouldn't have some of the issues they had with Florida State. Notre Dame and the Hokies have a lot similarities with both being led by double-double machines in Bonzie Colson and Zach LeDay who are both undersized but both able to make big impacts. Colson is actually smaller than LeDay and the Fighting Irish also are a smaller team like the Hokies, presenting a more favorable frontcourt matchup than Virginia Tech will get during much of ACC play. LeDay hasn't been as good on the glass this year but he has continued to be a great scorer in the post while also doing a great job of getting to the line. Both players are decent three-point shooters and this game presents a very interesting matchup that could have a huge impact on the game especially if one player is able to shut down the other. For the Hokies, it will be very important for them to be efficient on offense against one of the most efficient offenses in college hoops but the good news for the Hokies is that they have been a much better shooting team in Cassell Coliseum than on the road this season. The Hokies will need guys like Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs, and Justin Robinson shooting the ball well from deep along with Robinson and the backcourt taking advantage of lanes to get easy layups. With Notre Dame having a similar roster makeup to the Hokies and not being a great rebounding team outside of Colson, it will a great opportunity for Virginia Tech to get some more offensive rebounds than normal if they can take advantage. If they can, this could be a unique extra element for the Hokies that makes a big difference on the final scoreline. Notre Dame is definitely one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the ACC once again this season, but Virginia Tech has a strong team that will be ready to get another win over a ranked foe, and has the talent to do so. The Hokies have played better in the comfortable confines of Cassell Coliseum and led by a big game from Zach LeDay, the Hokies will get a big win over the Fighting Irish.

Pick: Virginia Tech 82, Notre Dame 78

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