Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets host the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday evening in an ACC matchup. The Yellow Jackets got back to .500 overall with a 68-59 win over the Clemson Tigers on Tuesday. With games remaining against Pitt and Clemson after the Miami game, Georgia Tech has a good chance of ending the season with a winning record in ACC play, as well as overall. The Hurricanes are coming off a 16-point loss to the Notre Dam Fighting Irish, 87-71, on Sunday. This is the only meeting of the season between these two teams.
Hurricanes lose for the first time in four gamesThe Miami Hurricanes entered their matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as seven point underdogs before l0sing by 16 points. The previous three games saw the Hurricanes cover the spread in a big way, though. They were four point favorites versus Boston College and Wake Forest before coming up with 17-point wins in each game. Against Virginia Tech on February 19, Miami was a 4.5 point underdog before a seven-point triple overtime win.
The Hurricanes led by four points midway through the first half, but it was all Notre Dame after that, as the Irish outscored Miami 33-10 over the final 10 minutes of the half to take a commanding 48-29 lead at the break. The Hurricanes scored 42 points in the second half, but it was too little, too late, as Notre Dame went on for the 16-point victory. Miami was led by a trio of players with 12 points apiece, Dejan Vasiljevic, Isaiah Wong, and Harlond Beverly. Keith Stone chipped in with 10 points for the Hurricanes. Miami shot 41.4% from the floor and 22.7% from three-point range.
"They're a catch-and-shoot team," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said about Notre Dame on espn.com. "Guys like Prentiss Hubb and T.J. Gibbs, in particular, not only make those threes, but they make them from like NBA range, which stretches your defense out, which provides them the opportunity to post a Mooney or Juwan Durham inside. They're completely isolated one-on-one, and those guys are good offensive players, too, so they score around the basket at a very high level."
It has been an up-and-down season for the Hurricanes, who have had winning streaks of three, four, and five games, as well as losing streaks of three and four games this season. Chris Lykes is leading the team with an average of 15.2 points per game, followed by Vasiljevic with 13.5 points per game. Kameron McGusty comes in next with 13.0 points per game. Miami is averaging 73.1 points per game, while shooting 43.8% from the floor and 32.7% from three-point range.
Yellow Jacket sting TigersThe Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets covered the spread for the third time in their last four games, as they defeated the Clemson Tigers by nine points as a 2.5 point underdog. In their previous game versus Syracuse, they just barely missed covering the spread, as they lost by seven points as a six point underdog.
The Yellow Jackets scored 34 points in each half, as they went on to win by nine points. Jose Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 19 points, while Michael Devoe had 14 points. Moses Wright added 10 points for the Yellow Jackets in the win. Georgia Tech shot 47.3% from the floor and 43.8% from three-point range. The Yellow Jackets held the Tigers to just 2-20 shooting from three-point range.
"We know what we're capable of," Alvarado said on espn.com. "I think we should have won more games in the ACC, but it's okay. We're going to keep learning from the games we have."
Georgia Tech has won three of their last four games, as well as six of their last nine games, which included a six point win over then-fifth ranked Louisville. Devoe leads the team with an average of 16.0 points per game this season, while Alvarado averages 14.0 points per game and Wright scores 13.5 points per game. Georgia Tech is averaging 68.8 points per game, while they 45.4% from the floor and 30.9% from three-point range.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been playing pretty well as of late, winning six of their last nine games, with all six of those wins coming by six points or more, including a win over Louisville. The Yellow Jackets have a much better defense than Miami does, as Georgia Tech gives up 67.3 points per game, compared to 75.1 points per game for the Hurricanes. The Yellow Jackets have covered the spread in six of their last nine games. Miami's last six losses have all been by five points or more. Georgia Tech has a chance to end the season on a high note, with very winnable games their final three games of the regular season, so they will be hungrier and ready to give the home fans a show on Saturday evening.
Prediction: Georgia Tech -5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Miami Hurricanes are scoring 73.1 points per game this season, while they give up 75.1 points per game. Georgia Tech has scored and given up over 70 points in two of their last three games. The Hurricanes do not defend well at all, ranking 278th in opponents field goal percentage and 282nd in opponents three-point percentage. The Yellow Jackets are the 92nd best shooting team in the country, making 45.4% of their shots from the floor. Both teams like to play a fast-paced game, with Miami ranking 86th in pace of play and Georgia Tech ranking 92nd, so expect both teams to get a lot of possessions in this game, and score a lot of points.
Prediction: Over 142