By Jeremy Fitch: DYSTnow.com College Basketball Insider
Over the past week these two teams have been heading in different directions, but can this matchup set the tone for the rest of ACC play?
Virginia Tech is coming off their first Top 25 bid last week for the first time since 2010, but fell out of the Top 25 after two ACC losses to NC State and #12 Florida State.
Syracuse on the other hand, after beginning the season very rough seems to have found their stride in ACC play winning their past two games by double digits against Miami and Pittsburgh.
Things to Watch tonight:
VT: While the resume shows a great home win over Duke this season, tonight could be a different story as Seth Allen, the sixth man on this Hokies roster could be OUT as he is recovering from a concussion.
On the offensive side of the ball the Hokies will need to have a team effort as they are averaging five players per game in double figures.
Then on the defensive side of the ball, Tech will depend on their perimeter D as they are holding teams to 31.2 percent from behind the arc, according to Syracuse.com. As Syracuse can sometimes live and die from behind the arc, this area will be vital if Tech wants to walk out of the Coliseum with another resume building win.
Cuse: As mentioned, coming off of two big ACC wins, this game marks another chance for the Orange to continue to build their resume.
For Syracuse, you will see what you have seen the past two games with going one maybe two deep on the bench. I believe for the third straight game we will not see Frank Howard play any role, and I think that bodes well for the Orange in this one.
On offense Cuse will need to look for Tyler Lydon early and often and will need a big night on both ends of the floor from freshman Tyus Battle.
Defensively, it appears that the adjustment Jim Boeheim has been able to make to the legendary 2-3 zone has worked. With Virginia Tech likely to play small ball often, it will be vital for the Orange to not miss their rotations or it could be a long night.
Players to Watch:
VT: 6-7 Forward, Zach LeDay ( 16.3 pts, 7.3 Reb.)
Cuse: 6-9 Forward, Tyler Lydon ( 13.5 pts, 7.8 Reb.)
6-6 Guard, Tyus Battle ( 8.8 pts, 45% from beyond the arc)