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THE FLATS – Georgia Tech plays the second of two straight road games in the Atlantic Coast Conference Wednesday night when the Yellow Jackets visit No. 22/16 Virginia Tech for the second of two games this season against the Hokies at 8 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Tech (11-13, 3-8 ACC), in its third season under head coach Josh Pastner, has lost five straight games and seven of its last eight, winning only against Notre Dame at home on Jan. 22 in that stretch. The Yellow Jackets are 2-6 on the road this season, 1-4 on conference play with a victory at Syracuse on Jan. 12. Tech lost its rematch with the Fighting Irish Sunday night, 69-59. The Jackets look to even the season series against the Hokies, who escaped Atlanta with a 52-49 victory on Jan. 9.
Virginia Tech (18-5, 7-4 ACC), in its fifth season under head coach Buzz Williams, began its conference schedule 7-2 but has lost its last two starts to No. 16 Louisville at home and to Clemson on the road. The loss to the Cardinals is the only home loss this season for the Hokies, who are 11-1 in Cassell Coliseum.
Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on the ACC’s Raycom Sports Network, and will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra, available through the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, airing in Atlanta on 680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan. The Tech broadcast is available on satellite radio (XM ch. 385, internet ch. 976).
James Banks is Georgia Tech’s leading scorer and rebounder in ACC games.
- Closure – Georgia Tech is in the midst of a four-game stretch against teams it has already played – Clemson (L, L), Notre Dame (W, L), Virginia Tech (L) and Florida State (L).
- Going away – After playing five of its first eight ACC games at home, Georgia Tech is now playing three of four games on the road, hosting only Clemson in that stretch last Wednesday before visiting Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.
- Buzz saw – Georgia Tech has lost five straight games, with the first four opponents in the midst of winning streaks. Duke and North Carolina each have won their last seven games, Florida State has won its last five, and Clemson has won four straight. Those four teams rank among the nation’s top 20 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. This week’s opponents, Clemson and Florida State, rank 18th and 17th, respectively.
- Old school – James Banks III and Abdoulaye Gueye have given Georgia Tech an increasingly reliable frontcourt combination in ACC play. The duo shared the floor for more than 56 minutes in wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame (Gueye was sidelined for games against Clemson and Louisville), and have shared the floor for 67 percent of the time in Tech’s last five games.
- The Bank is open – In 23 games at Georgia Tech, James Banks III has exceeded his 46-game totals at Texas in every offensive category, as well as blocked shots and steals. Banks has six double-doubles this season for the Jackets, fourth most in the ACC.
- Guard your yard – Georgia Tech ranks No. 5 in the ACC in scoring defense (67.1 ppg), No 3 in field goal percentage defense (39.7 pct.) and No. 1 in three-point percentage defense (28.1 pct.) against conference opponents. The Jackets rank No. 2 in steals (7.73 pg) and third in blocked shots (5.27 pg).
- Below average – Georgia Tech has faced three of the nation’s top 10 teams in offensive efficiency as ranked by KenPom.com – Tennessee (2), Duke (4) and Virginia Tech (10) – and held them to an average of 61.3 points. Each posted their lowest efficiency rating of the season against the Jackets. North Carolina is No. 7, and the Jackets held the Tar Heels to their fourth-lowest rating of the season. Florida State is No. 35, and was held to their second-lowest rating this season in the teams’ first meeting Feb. 2.
- Going young – Georgia Tech’s seven freshmen and sophomores have played 66 percent of the minutes for Tech in ACC games.
- Going deep – Georgia Tech has deployed nine different starting lineups this season, and 10 Yellow Jackets have started three or more games.
- Longer bench – Tech has utilized at least eight players in all of its ACC games to date. Tech’s bench has played 32.9 percent of available minutes, No. 119 in the nation according to KenPom.com (national average is 30.7 pct.). Tech reserves are outscoring their opponents 21.5 to 15.6 per game.
SERIES VS. VIRGINIA TECH
- Virginia Tech has won 19 of 25 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including 15 of 20 as a member of the ACC.
- The Hokies have won the last five games of the series, four of which were decided in the final minute. Virginia Tech won the teams’ first regular-season meeting of 2018-19, 52-49, at McCamish Pavilion.
- Tech’s 64-54 win on Feb. 9, 2013 in Blacksburg is its only triumph at Cassell Coliseum in 10 tries.
- Tech has defeated Virginia Tech only three times in 11 meetings at home since the Hokies joined the ACC, and the Yellow Jackets received extroardinary performances by a individuals to win two of those games. On Jan. 19, 2008, reserve guard Matt Causey came off the bench to hit seven threes and pour in 30 points in the Jackets’ 81-70 victory. On Jan. 25, 2011, Iman Shumpert recorded the fourth triple-double in Tech history with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Jackets’ 72-57 win.
- The Hokies, led by future NBA star Dell Curry, held off the Jackets and their future All-Americans Mark Price and John Salley, 77-74, in the teams’ first meeting, a first-round post-season NIT game, at Cassell Coliseum in 1984.
- The teams have split two ACC Tournament encounters, the Jackets capturing a 73-54 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Washington, D.C., and the Hokies winning a 59-43 decision in the first round in 2011 in Greensboro.
- Georgia Tech’s first victory over Virginia Tech occurred on Dec. 27, 1962, a 73-72 overtime triumph at the Gator Bowl Tournament that was part of an 11-0 start for the Yellow Jackets. Tech went on to finish the season 21-5. That remains the only meeting between the two teams when both were ranked in the nation’s top 25.
- Both teams were members of the old Metro Conference, but not at the same time. Georgia Tech was a member for three seasons from 1975-76 through 1977-78 before leaving to join the ACC. Virginia Tech joined the league for the 1978-79 season.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.