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ACC Bubble Preview - Georgia Tech Basketball at Miami by Max
A pivotal game with NCAA Tournament implications takes place Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables, when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets visit the Miami Hurricanes. Both teams sit in the middle of the pack and need this victory in order to get off of the NCAA bubble. Tech suffered a disappointing loss on Wednesday night when they held the Blue Devils to just sixty points and still lost the game. Miami is a team on the rise. This week they went into Tallahassee and dominated the Seminoles. The following will examine what each team has to do in order to come up with a victory on Saturday.
Georgia Tech basketball leads the ACC in team defense and that was evident Wednesday night against Duke. They held the Blue Devils to just 60 points and that is 21 points under their season average. The problem with this is they only scored 56 points. In this game they did not hit a three-point basketball and that just cannot happen with the guards on this team.
B.J. Elder has yet to regain his form from last season and appears to still be somewhat hampered by nagging injuries. He needs to score in double figures in every game in order for this team to be successful. Tech appears to be putting too much effort toward the defensive side of the ball and has forgotten how to shoot the ball. In the ACC, most games require at least 70 points to win games. The Jackets are at 6-7 in the conference and need to bump that record up to 8-8 in order to feel secure about their status.
The Hurricanes have been the surprise in the ACC Conference. They were projected to finish last but they will take a .500 record into this game. The thing that is preventing them from a bid to the tournament is their weak non-conference schedule, which was full of cupcakes. A saving grace may be a road victory in Gainesville. This team needs to finish out the conference at 8-8 and probably win a game in the ACC Tournament in order to feel confident they will receive a bid on Selection Sunday.
This is a strong team and their offense runs through Guillermo Diaz. Diaz is a great scorer but not a great shooter. He is most effective when he takes the ball to the hole, instead of settling for long range, high arcing, jump shoots. This team has beaten up on the lightweights in conference but has yet to crack an elite victory against the big three (Wake, UNC, Duke). As with Georgia Tech, the Canes like to keep the score low and win games via their half court offense. A team that plays well in transition can cause them problems.
This game will come down to Tech's ability to play up to their potential. This team made it to the ACC Championship Game last season and has only shown that form a couple of times this season. This is the type of game based on the standings that Miami has won all season long and will likely come into this game as a slight favorite. If they can force Tech into taking tough contested shots, they will walk away with a victory and improve their chances. If the Yellow Jackets can find their touch from long range, they have the better talent and should win this game.
Be sure to check back Saturday for the winner of this contest. Doc's is set to release a seven-unit selection and it will likely come out of the SEC. Doc's hit our SEC Game of the Year last Saturday and has had good luck in this conference.
Click the link for college basketball picks. Doc's will likely release a play on the Georgia Tech basketball game this weekend.
One E-mail A Week Is All You Need! Our weekly newsletter is loaded with exclusive free picks,insight and advice from our expert handicappers