After the anger about Wisconsin’s ridiculous seeding subsided, most Badger fans, including myself, immediately looked ahead to a potential second round game against Villanova. It was an understandable reaction. After all, Villanova is the number one overall seed and the defending National Champion.
But in order to get to that game, Wisconsin will first have to beat a very dangerous Virginia Tech team. Here is everything you need to know about the 9th-seeded Hokies.
ACC Record: 10-8
RPI Top 25 Record: 3-6
RPI Top 50 Record: 5-8
RPI Top 100 Record: 11-9
Notable wins: at Michigan, Duke, Virginia, Miami, Wake Forest (Neutral), Nebraska by 13 (Neutral)
Notable losses: at NC State by 26, Wake Forest, Florida State (2X), Notre Dame, Louisville, at Miami
Last 12: 7-5
Neutral Court Record: 3-2
1. 3-point shooting
Virginia Tech shoots a lot of three-pointers. They also make a lot of three-pointers. At 40%, the Hokies rank in the top 10 in the country from beyond the arc. In their upset win over Duke, they hit 8 of 13 from deep. This team is great at getting into the lane and kicking it out to spot up shooters.
2. Offensive Efficiency
In large part because of their great three-point shooting, the Hokies are KenPom’s 21st ranked offense in the country. It is also a large reason they are in the top 50 in total points per game.
3. Free throw rate
Virginia Tech is one of the best teams in the country at getting to the free throw line. They also don’t send their opponents to the line. That is a really tough combination.
Virginia Tech is one of the worst rebounding power conference teams. They struggle to secure defensive rebounds, but that is nothing compared to their pitiful effort on the offensive glass. There are only 24 teams in the country with a worse offensive rebounding rate. Yup, 24.
According to KenPom, Virginia Tech has the 125th best defense in the country. There are only three at-large teams selected that are worse than that. Even Tom Crean and Indiana play better defense than the Hokies, which is saying something.
3. Forcing turnovers
Virginia Tech is pretty much the opposite of West Virginia. If you turn the ball over against them, it will likely be unforced, because they rarely get steals. I guess that’s what happens when you barely play defense.
Players to Know
Zach LeDay: LeDay, a 6-7 senior forward, is Virginia Tech’s leading scorer. He averages 16 points per game on 53% shooting. He is the Hokies best athlete and interior presence. LeDay also excels at drawing fouls. He is on a roll right now, with games of 24, 31, and 22 points over his last three outings.
Seth Allen: The Hokies three-point efficiency is led by the sharpshooting 6-1 senior point guard. The former Maryland Terrapin averages 13 points per game, and drains 45% of his long balls. Like LeDay, he is hot coming into the tournament, having scored 17 points per game or more over his last three games.
Virginia Tech’s head coach should be very familiar to Badger fans. Buzz Williams was the head coach at Marquette from 2008-2014, and during that span he went 3-3 against Wisconsin.