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Preview: #8 UVA faces #19 Virginia Tech on ACC Network (!)

ACC NetworkEighth-ranked Virginia gets its toughest test in a month, on the road Saturday at 6 p.m. at #19 Virginia Tech.

Unless you’re a participant, friend, family member, select member of the media, you’re watching on ACC Network, trying like the dickens to avoid buying a TacShaver or suing a pharmaceutical company, and wondering who Mark Packer and Wes Durham are, and why they get half of each commercial break.

Again, 6 p.m.

The announcers are Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby.

They won’t be there, either.

The Hokies (12-3, 6-2 ACC) are a game into what they’re doing to figure out how to replace the production of Tyrece Radford, the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder, who was suspended indefinitely on Monday, roughly 24 hours after he was arrested on DUI and weapons charges in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

They did fine in their first outing without Radford, holding Notre Dame to a season-low in points in a 62-51 win on Wednesday.

These two had been scheduled to get together back in early January, but UVA had to beg off due to COVID-19 issues.

Tech would have wanted to get that one in then. That was back when the ‘Hoos were still trying to find their way.

A week earlier, top-ranked Gonzaga had blown their doors off in a 98-75 win in Texas.

Since that one, Virginia (11-2, 7-0 ACC) has won seven straight, and is looking like the bunch that had been the preseason ACC favorite.

The Cavaliers have been idle since posting a nice 81-58 win over Syracuse on Big Monday.

That game was on ESPN, which has commercials for things that people actually like to buy, for instance, pizza, trucks.

Not a single “Packer and Durham” spot to be found.

I’ve read that they do a show together.

This ACC Network thing ain’t working, y’all.

If there’s any advantage to Virginia in this one, it’s Northam’s restrictions. Cassell Coliseum is a mausoleum most of the winter, but whenever UVA, Duke or UNC shows up, it gets almost uncontrollably loud.

The student section is located above the visiting team basket in the second half.

It’s like you’re shooting into an ocean of maroon, orange and hairy armpits.

Cassell in COVID is just … cold.

Story by Chris Graham


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