No. 8 Virginia Tech (21-11) will battle No. 9 Alabama (19-15) in the East Region of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 15.
Virginia Tech fell to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament in its opening matchup. After running through Texas A&M and No. 16 Auburn for two consecutive wins, Alabama was knocked out of the SEC Tournament in a lopsided loss at the hands of Kentucky.
Find game time, information and a preview below:
Virginia Tech-Alabama game time, details
Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018
Location: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh
Which TV channel is Virginia Tech-Alabama on?
Virginia Tech-Alabama will air live on TNT.
- AT&T U-verse: Channel 1108 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 245-1 (HD)
- Dish Network: Channel 9420 (HD)
- Cablevision: Channel 37
How can I watch Virginia Tech-Alabama online?
Virginia Tech-Alabama basketball preview, keys to the game
Virginia Tech has a balanced scoring unit of junior guard Justin Robinson (13.8 points per game), senior guard Justin Bibbs (13.1 ppg), junior forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (12.6 ppg), junior guard Ahmed Hill (10.8 ppg) and freshman guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (10.5 ppg).
Robinson is dishing 5.6 assists per game, while Blackshear Jr. grabs 6.1 rebounds per game and junior forward Chris Clarke averages 8.3 points and 6.5 rebounds.
The Hokies have statement victories over No. 10 North Carolina, No. 2 Virginia and No. 5 Duke. Having one of the two victories over Virginia remains Virginia Tech’s claim to fame for the season and shows what exactly this squad is capable of.
They finished the season with losses against Miami and Notre Dame, with the latter coming in their opening matchup of the ACC Tournament.
Virginia Tech hopes to move further than its first-round exit last year. The Hokies have made the regional final just once in the school’s history.
Alabama is led by standout freshman guard Collin Sexton, who is averaging 19.0 points, 3.8 rebonds and 3.5 assists. Sexton showed out during the SEC Tournament, notching an insane baseline-to-baseline buzzer beater to stun Texas A&M. He led the Crimson Tide in a victory against Auburn, but didn’t have enough to overcome Kentucky late in the tournament.
Junior forward Donta Hill (10.9 points per game), freshman guard John Petty (10.1 ppg) and sophomore guard Dazon Ingram (9.9) have all taken on some of the scoring responsibilities behind Sexton.
Alabama has statement wins over No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 17 Auburn, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 23 Florida, No. 15 Tennessee and No. 16 Auburn. The Tide are streaky, though, losing five consecutive games near the end of the season.
This is Alabama’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011-12, when the Crimson Tide was knocked out in the second round. Alabama has made the regional semifinals seven times and the regional final once (2003-04).
ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Virginia Tech the 64 percent chance of moving on from the first round.
The winner of Virginia Tech-Alabama will move on to play the winner of No. 1 Villanova’s game against the First Four winner between LIU Brooklyn and Radford.
According to the ACC’s official website, the conference is the winningest in NCAA Tournament history, with a 66 percent winning percentage. It is the only conference not to have a losing record in NCAA Tournament play since 1987. Two teams from the conference have won a national title in the last three seasons (Duke in 2015 and North Carolina in 2017).
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