Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker looks to pass the ball while guarded by Miami’s Zach Johnson, Ebuka Izundu and Chris Lykes during a game on March 8, 2019. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker looks to pass the ball while guarded by Miami’s Zach Johnson, Ebuka Izundu and Chris Lykes during a game on March 8, 2019. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)|Associated Press
NCAAB

Eckel on ACC: Virginia Tech looks for three-peat versus Miami

Virginia Tech is playing for a good seed in the NCAA Tournament

Mark Eckel

There are four games Wednesday in the second round of the ACC Tournament. One stands out above the rest in terms of a wager.

Virginia Tech (-7) vs. Miami, 2 p.m.
The Pick: Virginia Tech (-7)

There’s that tired old cliché that “it’s hard to beat a team three times.’’ No, it isn’t, especially if one team is prohibitively better than the other one.

That’s what we have here. Virginia Tech (23-7) beat Miami (14-17) twice this season. The Hokies won by 12 in Miami early in the season and by 14 in Blacksburg in the final regular-season game.

Now they meet again after the Hurricanes got by Wake Forrest, Tuesday in the tournament opener.

Virginia Tech is playing for a good seed in the NCAA Tournament and can’t afford to slip up against a Miami team that should be happy it didn’t get knocked out in the first round of the ACC tournament.

Four of the Hokies’ seven losses this season came against teams ranked in the top 25. Miami, obviously, is not ranked. And speaking of that the ‘Canes are 0-9 against teams ranked in the top 25 this season. Virginia Tech was No. 16 in the latest poll.

Here’s one more: The Hokies are 7-1 against the spread the last eight times these two teams have met.

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