Virginia Tech (19-9, 9-6 ACC) travels to Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina to play the Clemson Tigers (19-10, 8-7 ACC) in Saturday’s college basketball odds. Both unranked teams are looking to finish their season strong and qualify for the upcoming NCAA tournament. This appears to be a must-win game for both the Hokies and Tigers if either ballclub wants to participate in college basketball’s March Madness.
Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, the Tigers are 14-2 at home this season with Clemson fighting for an at-large berth. The loser of this game could only be the sixth best team in terms of rankings in the ACC, with Boston College taking up the loser’s spot. The Hokies are currently in fourth place and the Tigers are in fifth. No. 4 Duke and No. 13 North Carolina lead the way, each with a 13-2 conference record.
It is likely that only five teams from the ACC will make it to the NCAA tournament. The Hokies could also use some help from NC State which plays Florida State on Saturday. The Seminoles are currently third in the ACC, one game ahead of Virginia Tech.
In addition to home court advantage, Clemson features an experience starting lineup. Senior guard Demontez Stitt averages 14.1 points, 3.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Andre Young rounds up the backcourt scoring 10.8 points and dishing out 2.9 assists and grabbing 2.7 rebounds.
Senior forward-center Jerai Grant adds 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds, while sophomore forward Milton Jennings contributes 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. The Tigers like to eat up the shot clock, spreading the ball amongst its players. The team averages 67.5 on offense while allowing 60.4 on defense.
The Hokies are a more dynamic team scoring 71.5 on offense while allowing 62.9 points on defense. Clemson will need to rotate quickly on defense and try to contain Hokies guard Malcolm Delaney who averages 18.8 points, 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds. Guard Erick Green joins Delaney in the backcourt with 11.5 points and 2.7 assists per contest. Senior forward Jeff Allen is the main threat down low averaging 14 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
Overall, Clemson is a bigger team in this matchup but Virginia has a more versatile, high-scoring squad looking to take advantage of easy baskets. It’s a must-win for both teams but Clemson probably deserves more favorable college betting odds.