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Jackets Take On No. 9 Virginia

THE FLATS – Facing a stretch of four games in a seven-day period, Georgia Tech looks to even the regular season series against Virginia when it entertains the No. 9/9 Cavaliers for a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.

The Yellow Jackets (9-6, 5-4 ACC), who are 3-3 since returning from its 17-day pause, are in sixth place in the ACC standings and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 62. Tech is coming off an 82-80 come-from-behind win over Notre Dame Saturday night, which kept Tech undefeated at home in ACC play this season. Tech led for much of its first meeting against Virginia on Jan. 23, but the Cavaliers worked back from an 11-point deficit to win 64-62.

The first-place Cavaliers (13-3, 9-1 ACC) have won their last two games, 63-57 at NC State and 73-66 over Pittsburgh since dropping their only ACC game to date, a 66-51 decision at rival Virginia Tech. Virginia remains one of the nation’s top defensive teams (No. 25 in defensive efficiency) and lead the ACC in scoring defense (59.30 ppg in conference games), and are No. 2 in scoring margin in ACC games (10.20 ppg).

Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College, with flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 383 (Internet 973) and the TuneIn app.

Senior forward Jordan Usher talks with the media Tuesday

THE TIPOFF

  • Georgia Tech has won 11 consecutive ACC home games, which is a program record. The previous mark of nine was set during the 1995-96 season (last home game of 1994-95, 8-0 at home in 1995-96). Tech has won all five home games this season and the final six of the 2019-20 season. Virginia was the last ACC team to win at McCamish Pavilion (63-58 on Jan. 18 last season).
  • According to a Tweet by @ACCContent, Tech is the only team in the ACC and one of two teams in Division I to have three wins over top 20 opponents as an unranked team. Tech is 3-3 vs. top 25 teams this season, two wins at home, one at State Farm Arena, and is 9-24 against top-25 teams under Josh Pastner (8-8 at home).
  • The gauntlet – Wednesday’s game begins a stretch of four games in seven days created by the rescheduling of Tech’s home game with Pittsburgh on Sunday, Feb. 14 (rescheduled from Jan. 12). After Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets travel to Clemson Friday (moved up from Saturday), host Pitt on Feb. 14 and Boston College on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Three of the four games are at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Break up to make up – Two of Georgia Tech’s four postponed ACC games have been rescheduled, its game at Louisville (Feb. 1) and Sunday’s upcoming game against Pitt. No makeup dates have been set for the Yellow Jackets’ games at Notre Dame (originally Jan. 6) and NC State (Jan. 16).
  • No rest for the weary – As part of Tech’s effort to reschedule its postponed games, the Yellow Jackets will play four games on just one day’s rest while its opponents in those games have (or had) four days (Louisville), five days (Clemson), six days (Pitt) and five days (Boston College).
  • Both ends burning – Georgia Tech, one of the ACC’s top scoring teams all season, ranks No. 7 in the ACC in scoring average (70.22 ppg), and also ranks No. 6 in scoring defense (68.67). Florida State is the only other team to rank seventh or higher in both. According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ACC’s seventh-most efficient offense and the fifth-most efficient defense in conference play.
  • For the defense – For the first time this season, Georgia Tech’s defensive efficiency in ACC games (5th) ranks ahead of its offensive efficiency (7th). The Yellow Jackets also rank No. 1 against the conference in turnover percentage and steal percentage. Tech still ranks fourth in effective field goal percentage, offensively, and third in three-point percentage, as well as No. 4 in percentage of assists to field goals made.
  • Moses climbing the mountain – Moses Wright is bidding to become the 21st played in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career. Wright has had two double-doubles in Tech’s last four games, averaging 15.5 points and 11.3 rebounds. The 6-9 senior now has 944 career points and 530 career rebounds.
  • Dynamic duo – Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe are averaging 17.00 and 15.78 points per game in ACC games, ranking No. 4 and 9, respectively, and have accounted for 46.7 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points. They have scored or assisted on 71.2 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. Combined, they have shot 51 percent from the floor and 47.3 percent from three-point range. The Jackets are 6-1 this season when both players score in double digits, including four ACC wins.
  • Triple threat – Alvarado, Devoe and Bubba Parham have combined to hit 65-of-135 collectively (48.1 percent) in Tech’s last 10 games (6-of-12 vs. Delaware State, 8-of-19 vs. Florida A&M, 7-of-14 vs. North Carolina, 8-of-19 vs. Wake Forest, 7-of-13 vs. Clemson, 6-of-9 at Virginia, 5-of-12 at Duke, 6-of-14 vs. FSU, 5-of-14 at Louisville, 7-of-11 vs. Notre Dame).
  • Small ball – Tech moved 6-9 senior Moses Wright, who has played the “4” position most of his career, into the “5” spot and started 5-10 senior Bubba Parham beginning with the Dec. 6 win over Kentucky. The re-alignment has worked as the Jackets have shot 47.9 percent from the floor, hit 8.7 three-point field goals per game (39.0 percent), have a plus-68 margin on turnovers, and assisted on 60.9 percent of its field goals in that stretch.
  • Ball security – The Jackets remain one of the best ballhandling teams in the ACC. Tech ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 17 nationally in turnover margin (plus-4.1) and No. 2 in the ACC and No. 16 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.46). Only three ACC teams (Notre Dame included) have turned the ball over fewer times per game than has Tech (10.78) in ACC games, and Tech has forced the most average turnovers (14.78). Six of Tech’s rotation players have positive assist/turnover ratios.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks with local media Tuesday

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA

Virginia has won 15 of the last 17 meetings to move ahead 44-40 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1947 … The Cavaliers have won the last seven games in the series, including a 64-62 win in Charlottesville in the teams’ first regular-season meeting of 2020-21 … Tech is 2-3 against Virginia in McCamish Pavilion after going 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Overall, the Yellow Jackets are 24-14 on all home courts and 26-15 in games played in the city of Atlanta … Tech has failed to score 50 points in five of the 16 meetings against Bennett’s Virginia teams. Tech’s high of 75 came in the very first meeting in 2010.

FOLLOWING THE TRENDS

  • Four of Tech’s starters are averaging in double figures in scoring for the season, only Bubba Parham below that mark at 7.7 points per game. Four or more Yellow Jackets have reached double figures in six games this season, at least three in all but two games.
  • Tech has turned the ball over just 11.2 times per game this season, most impressively Moses Wright who has just 19 turnovers in more than 546 minutes of action, and Bubba Parham, who has only six in 425 minutes. The Yellow Jackets are plus-4.1 in that category this season, ranking No. 1 in the ACC. Tech was minus-2.4 last year and ranked 14th. In ACC games, Tech also ranks No. 1 at plus-4.0.
  • Tech made great strides in its offensive efficiency during the latter part of last season and continues to progress, ranking No. 36 nationally at 111.5, its highest ranking under Josh Pastner. The Jackets have managed to exceed one point per possession in 12 of 15 games this season (Tech reached that benchmark 11 times in all of 2019-20).
  • Tech has won seven straight games at home since dropping its opening two games to Georgia State and Mercer, and Notre Dame was win No. 100 in McCamish Pavilion since it opened for the 2012-13 season.
  • Tech shot a season-high 58.3 percent despite missing its first seven field goal tries in the game, a dramatic turnaround from its 32.4-percent game at Louisville Monday. It was the Yellow Jackets’ highest field goal percentage since connecting on 59.0 last season at North Carolina. Tech’s 35 field goals were its most in a regulation game this season (36 vs. Georgia State in 4 OT).
  • Tech’s 122.9 offensive efficiency rating (KenPom.com) against Notre Dame was its second best this season in an ACC game behind its 132.7 against Clemson. Tech has exceeded one point per possession in 12 of 15 games after having done so in 11 of 31 games in 2019-20. The Jackets rank 40th in the nation in offensive efficiency (111.5).
  • Twelve times in its last 13 games, Tech has won the turnover battle and had more assists than turnovers (15 assists, nine turnovers). Only in the first meeting against Florida State on Dec. 15 (11 assists, 12 turnovers, FSU has 12 turnovers) did the Jackets fall short.
  • Tech has collected 77 steals in its last eight games and is averaging an ACC-high 9.3 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 9.1 in all games.
  • Tech has had at least one player go the full 40 minutes in five straight games. Alvarado has done so three times, Moses Wright twice, Michael Devoe and Bubba Parham once each. Prior to that, no one played the full 40 this season.
  • In his last three games, Michael Devoe has averaged 18.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and three assists, hitting 17-of-36 shots from the floor and 9-of-17 from three-point range.
  • Jose Alvarado, who went 3-of-4 from three-point range and 8-of-12 overall to score 19 points against Notre Dame, extended his streak of made three-pointers to 33 straight games. He sits 12th on Tech’s all-time list for three-pointers with 159.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey on Tech's home court atmosphere

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. 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. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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