Virginia Tech (24-8) is the No. 4 seed in the East Region in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll take on No. 13 seed Saint Louis (23-12) on Friday in San Jose, California at approximately 9:57 eastern time on truTV. This is Tech’s highest ever seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Billikens (23-12) were a 19-12 basketball team and the No. 6 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament last week before a dramatic run saw them crowned Champions of that tournament over the weekend. Saint Louis knocked off four teams in the tournament, three of which were seeded higher.
vs. No. 11 seed Richmond: 71-68
vs. No. 3 seed Dayton: 64-55
vs. No. 2 seed Davidson: 67-44
vs. No. 4 seed St. Bonaventure: 55-53
Saint Louis is coached by former Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford. They upset the Hokies 77-71 last season in the 2k Classic in Madison Square Garden, and Buzz Williams will be sure to remind his team of that in the days leading up to the game.
The Billikens are 0-2 against ACC competition this year, falling to Pitt 75-73 in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn back in November, and later losing to Florida State 81-59 on December 22. They have been a strong defensive team all season, though they have struggled on the offensive end of the court.
Offensive Efficiency (Pomeroy): No. 202
Effective FG%: No. 322
Offensive Rebound Rate: No. 13
3-Pt. %: No. 327
2-Pt. %: No. 285
FT %: No. 352
Turnover rate: No. 214
As you can see, Saint Louis has struggled to shoot the ball this year, and they rank next-to-last among all Division I teams in free throw shooting. However, their offensive rebound rate has been impressive.
Defensively, the Billikens are tough.
Defensive Efficiency (Pomeroy): No. 46
Effective FG%: No. 26
Opp. Offensive Rebound Rate: No. 51
3-Pt. %: No. 32
2-Pt. %: No. 48
Turnover rate: No. 117
Saint Louis ranks No. 103 nationally in the NET rankings, while Virginia Tech is No. 11. The Billikens have wins over No. 57 Seton Hall, No. 64 Butler, No. 87 Oregon State, No. 69 Dayton and No. 75 Davidson. However, they also have losses to No. 143 Southern Illinois, No. 170 Duquesne, No. 194 Richmond, No. 137 Rhode Island, No. 171 Saint Joseph’s and No. 118 St. Bonaventure.
6-6 senior guard Javon Bess leads Saint Louis in scoring. He averages 15.4 points per game. He shoots 40% from the field and 33.9% from three-point range.
If the Hokies beat Saint Louis, they’ll take on the winner of No. 5 seed Mississippi State (23-10) and No. 12 seed Liberty (28-6). That game would be played on Sunday in San Jose. If Tech makes it through both of those games, their likely opponent in the Sweet 16 would be No. 1 overall seed Duke in Washington, DC.
Click here for the official NCAA Tournament bracket.