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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2019 NCAA Regional Semi-Final: Duke vs Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

2019 NCAA Regional Semi-Final: Duke vs Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

Duke-Virginia Tech Preview!
Publish Date: 03/29/2019
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Is Mount Zion getting better?

Since returning from six missed games because of a knee injury, Duke All-American Zion Williamson has averaged 27.6 points on 68.7 percent shooting from the field. He also has hit 46.7 percent from 3-point range in that stretch. Zion, after his short rest at the end of the season, has been even better than he was before the injury. Williamson put the rest of the Devils on his back in last weekend’s come from behind win over the underdog UCF Knights.

The Hokies will not be intimidated

Virginia Tech is just one of four teams to beat the Blue Devils this year and even though Zion did not play in that game it has to give the Hokies more confidence going in than most have.

Keys to Victory

Duke most shoot the ball well

The Devils have not been a great shooting team this year and if they are cold in this game the Hokies will have a great chance to pull the upset. Tre Jones is the most important guy here. He must make Virginia Tech account for him on defense. If he can’t it will be much easier to double team Zion.

The Hokies need to control the pace of the game

In the Hokies earlier win they controlled the pace and tempo of the game and shot 62% from 2-point range. That will be hard to duplicate with Zion Williamson now in the game but they must be able to do this to win the game. They also need to keep R J Barrett’s penetration to a minimum.

Prediction

I think the Hokies will keep this game close much of the way, but they don’t have a 7’6″ Taco Falls in the middle to impede Williamson. Duke will pull away late in this one.

Blue Devils 75 Hokies 65

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