Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tourney Preview: (7) Georgia Tech vs. (10) Virginia

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The first game of the evening session is almost as close as the nooner. Instead of good defensive teams that like to play at a moderate pace, though, Virginia and Georgia Tech are both average to above-average offensive teams (and fairly lousy defensive teams) that like to push tempo. ESPN probably lucked into the most entertaining game of the first round for their national coverage. In the first meeting on January 27 in the Basketball Jones, Virginia jumped out to a big lead early thanks to hot three point shooting, then didn't adjust after the threes stopped falling, eventually losing 92-82 (79 possessions) in overtime. The second match was slated to be played on February 21, but was postponed by rain until March 3. A back-and-forth affair, Virginia won 76-74 (74 possessions) on a Calvin Baker three-pointer in the closing seconds.

Neither team has a significant advantage in any facet of the game, and whatever small edge either has is offset by a shortcoming in a different area. The difference between the Wahoos and the Wreck has been razor thin in the two previous meetings--in the breakdowns as well as in the final scores--and the only thing that would be a surprise in the rubber game is a blowout.

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