College Basketball Preview and Prediction – Virginia/Wake Forest

As conference play heats up, some teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack and inspire some talk to be seen as serious title contenders, and some teams we thought were going to roll right into March Madness, have taken a drastic turn downward, that’s college basketball.

by Tyler Wright – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer

It’s no easy task handicapping college sports, basketball in particular, dealing with teenage boys rarely is, and in a sport that deals with many moveable parts and unforeseen factors its only going to get tougher as the teams playing it keep getting younger each year. What we need is some stability to latch onto dang it.

One thing that I’ve learned to be as constant as anything in the last few years in college basketball is this, the University of Virginia Cavaliers are going to play defense. Every year I watch this sport religiously and every year I hear the talking heads discussing the Cavalier defense, and rightfully so. Since the 2011-12 season, Virginia’s final defensive efficiency rating has been as follows: 5th, 25th, 4th, 2nd, 7th, 2nd.

Alright by now you get where I’m going with this, the Cavaliers are on the road this evening against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have really struggled this year to get anything going after an atrocious start in which they lost their first 3 home openers all of which they were at least a 9.5 point favorite. Wake Forest is 6-6 at home and 4-5-1 ATS in those home games. Virginia is coming in only having lost 1 game this year, an on the road matchup at West Virginia where they lost by 7 points. I’ll take that loss, making them 5-1 on the road and 5-1 ATS in those games. The Cavs are only giving up 55 points on the road this year holding opponents to 38% shooting from the field on their own floor.

In the last 10 matchups between these two ACC teams Virginia is 6-4, winning the last 5 in a row by an average of 15 points. The Cavaliers average 7 steals a game against Wake Forest who coughs it up about 13 times a game, and Virginia doesn’t turn the ball over much. In fact they rank 2nd In the country in that category only turning the ball over 9.3 times a games. Add in the fact they are among the NCAA leaders in points margin at +17.6 (+14.2 in road games) I like the chances coach Tony Bennett leads his team into Winston-Salem and leaves with a comfortable win. Virginia -9

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