2022-23 Virginia Tech Basketball Preseason Preview: ACC Opponents N-Z

Virginia Tech men’s basketball will have its hands full in the ACC this year. (Ivan Morozov)

With less than a week until the college basketball season tips off, let’s dive into Virginia Tech basketball’s opponents around the ACC.

Chris Coleman will have a column on the non-conference schedule on Thursday. Meanwhile, I gave a breakdown of the first half of the league on Tuesday

The Hokies open their season on Monday, Nov. 7 in Cassell Coliseum vs. Delaware State. It’s a 9 p.m. ET tip on ACC Network Extra, and it follows the women’s basketball game at 5 p.m. vs. Mount St. Mary’s.

For this preview, we’ll go through the ACC schools in alphabetical order and hit on a number of things:

  • Number of “returning starters” for each program – players that recorded 10-plus starts at that school last season.
  • Last season’s record and finish for each school, this year’s predicted order of finish, and where they rank in KenPom ahead of 2022-23.
  • Meeting details: how many times the Hokies saw each team in 2021-22 and how many times Tech will see them this year.
  • Ranking each individual game on a scale of 1-3: 1 is a “should win” game, 2 is a toss-up and 3 is a “difficult task.”

North Carolina

Returning starters: 4

2021-22 record and ACC finish: 29-10 (15-5); T-2nd

2022-23 projection: Media (ACC): 1; KenPom (D-1): 9

Meeting details: 3 in 2021-22; 1 (home) in 2022-23 – Sunday, Dec. 4 (3 p.m., ACCN)

Difficulty: 3

Synopsis: The Tar Heels are going to be the team to beat this year. Four starters are back from last year’s NCAA runner-ups – Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, Leaky Black and RJ Davis. They’re the preseason No. 1 team in the country for a reason. Tech only sees the Heels once this year, which happens to be the league opener for both parties. It’ll be the ninth game of the season for the Hokies. Will they be in a groove yet? If not, it could be a long afternoon. Tech had UNC’s number in the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn in March, but lost both regular season matchups to Carolina. Hubert Davis added three top-100 players to the roster, headlined by Jalen Washington (6-10, No. 37 in class), and Pete Nance, Puff Johnson and Justin McKoy should provide a boost. The Tar Heels will be tough to topple.

NC State

Returning starters: