TV Schedule: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Arena: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, GA
Line: Virginia (-5.5.)
The Virginia Cavaliers are coming off their most disappointing loss of the season, as they fell on the road to the Virginia Tech Hokies, 70-66. Before the disappointing loss, however, the Cavaliers went on an 11-game win streak that included wins over the Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Villanova Wildcats and West Virginia Mountaineers. If they had not dropped a game to Virginia Tech, UVA might be pushing the top three next week.
Disappointment for the Cavaliers aside, Virginia will have no time to lick their wounds, as they travel to Atlanta to face the surprisingly good Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia Tech sit at 10-5 after losing their opening two games in ACC play, but both were on the road to top 25 opponents, the Pittsburgh Panthers and North Carolina Tar Heels. The Yellow Jackets’ lone “bad” loss on the season was to East Tennessee State, who could potentially challenge the Wofford Terriers and Chattanooga Mocs for the SoCon title. Georgia Tech just needs one or two marquee wins and they could sneak into the 2016 NCAA tournament or, more likely, avoid bad losses in order to make it to the NIT.
That being said, Georgia Tech will be facing a Virginia squad ready to put their loss to Virginia Tech behind them. UVA is one of the best teams in the country, and the Yellow Jackets’ suspect defense will be unable to stop Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill. Virginia wins big on the road and gets back on track to compete for the ACC regular season title.
Prediction: Virginia 76, Georgia Tech 58