Previewing Virginia Tech

Allen

Next up for the No. 1 Tar Heels is an ACC Tournament semifinal matchup with Virginia Tech. The game will be televised from the Charlotte Bobcats Arena by Raycom and ESPN.

North Carolina (30-2, 14-2) vs. Virginia Tech (19-12, 9-7)
Charlotte, N.C. - Bobcats Arena
1:30, RLF/ESPN

Quotables

"They've been playing ball since they were kids. This is obviously the greatest stage that they've played on in some of their young lives, so I just said, ‘Go out there and enjoy it. Just play harder, trust each other a little bit more,' and that's what we did." – Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg on his team's quarterfinal win over Miami

"You hope that you beat a team that is going to be in the tournament and you play the way you played. If anyone was watching the [Miami] game, I'd say that team should be in the NCAA Tournament, but what I think and what I say really doesn't mean anything. I think we played a good non-conference schedule. We were a very young basketball team in December, we're not a young basketball team anymore, but look, we get a chance to play the No. 1 team in the country tomorrow and who knows what can happen." – Greenberg on his team's NCAA hopes

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Virginia Tech enters Saturday's semifinal matchup with a 19-12 record, including a 5-1 mark since a 92-53 blowout loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Feb. 16. The fourth-seeded Hokies defeated No. 5 seed Miami in ACC Tournament quarterfinal action on Friday afternoon, boosting their NCAA hopes with 10 conference wins on the season.

Quarterfinal Standouts: The Hokies won on Friday with a complete team effort. A.D. Vassallo and Malcolm Delaney led Virginia Tech with 15 points apiece, while Deron Washington (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Jeff Allen (10 points, 10 rebounds) provided a presence on the interior for Greenberg's squad. After being outrebounded by 15 in the last meeting with Miami, the Hokies doubled up the Hurricanes on the boards in the quarterfinals (51-25).

Telling Stat: Virginia Tech's 51 rebounds against Miami were the most in an ACC Tournament game since the 2005 quarterfinals, when Duke grabbed 54 boards in a win over Virginia.

Honored Hokies: Virginia Tech loaded up when the ACC handed out its conference awards last week. Greenberg was voted the 2008 ACC Coach of the Year, while Vassallo earned All-ACC second-team honors. Washington was named All-ACC Honorable Mention, while Allen was selected to the All-ACC Rookie Team and joined Washington as an honorable mention member of the All-ACC Defensive team.

Head-to-Head Season Results: Nothing went right for Virginia Tech in the aforementioned 92-53 throttling that took place in Chapel Hill back in February. The Hokies connected on just 14 of their 54 field goal attempts (25.9 percent), and they were outrebounded 49-21 on the glass. Tyler Hansbrough led the Tar Heels with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Wayne Ellington contributed 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the teams' only meeting this season.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech, 56-12. This is the first meeting between the two programs in the ACC Tournament.

Projected Starters:
23 Malcolm Delaney (6-2, 175, Fr.) - 8.7 ppg, 2.9 apg
40 A.D. Vassallo (6-6, 215, Jr.) – 16.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg
13 Deron Washington (6-7, 210, Sr.) – 12.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg
33 J.T Thompson (6-6, 224, Fr.) - 5.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
 0 Jeff Allen (6-7, 258, Fr.) – 12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg

Key Reserves:
10 Hank Thorns (5-9, 140, Fr.) – 5.1 ppg, 3.5 apg
 2 Dorenzo Hudson (6-5, 220, Fr.) - 3.9 ppg
34 Cheick Diakite (6-9, 220, Jr.) – 2.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg
21 Lewis Witcher (6-9, 228, So.) – 2.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg

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