The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is one of the most watched tournament challenges in the nation.
It puts two of college basketball's top conferences up against each other.
The Virginia Tech Hokies came into the year with a top 25 ranking for the first time since the mid 90's and have played typical Virginia Tech basketball. Poor shooting, sloppy on offense but good defense overall.
It leads to an average product on the court, which is why the Hokies struggle to gain recognition in March.
Head coach Seth Greenberg has had to deal with an abundance of injuries to his frontcourt. The lack of depth has hurt the Hokies in almost every game.
Purdue was off to to a blistering start, averaging 87 points per game in their first four matchups. But the Boilermakers suffered their first loss of the season to Richmond last Saturday.
Both teams are coming off losses and are looking to get a big win Wednesday night. Here are five reasons why the Hokies will come out on top in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech fans are some of the most passionate in the country.
Cassell Coliseum will be very loud Wednesday night, when the Hokies host the Purdue Boilermakers.
It's a tough place to play, and the team thrives off the energy of the crowd. That being said, the Hokies certainly aren't unbeatable at home.
But they do play better on their home court. After being on the road the last few games, they should be even more amped for the matchup.
Virginia Tech has played six games, and only one of those has been at home.
Two have been on the road—one at third-ranked Kansas State and the other at UNC-Greensboro—and three at a neutral location.
The Hokies have defeated Campbell, UNC-Greensboro, Cal State-Northride and Oklahoma State. They were leading in the second half in the Octagon at Kansas State—one of the toughest places to play in the country—and gave the game away against UNLV in the 76 Classic championship game.
Greenberg-coached teams have struggled early in the season since his arrival in Blacksburg. But the Hokies have played tough in every game.
A lack of frontcourt depth and foul trouble to frontcourt players has led to their two losses thus far.
Purdue, on the other hand, beat Howard, Alcorn State, Oakland, Austin Peay and Southern Illinois, but lost to Richmond in their last matchup.
Malcolm Delaney is one of the best players in the ACC, if not the best.
However, the senior is not without faults. He's not a true point guard, but he's forced to play the position for the majority of the game.
The Hokies need to play Tyrone Garland at the point more to free up Delaney and his playmaking ability.
That being said, Delaney is at his best when the ball is in his hands. He carried the Hokies for the majority of the way against UNLV, but nobody else was stepping up.
He's got to find a way to get his guys open looks. But when he does, they haven't been knocking down the shots.
Delaney is the catalyst of the Hokies, but he needs help. As long as he's healthy and on the court, the Hokies will be in to the end with Delaney leading the way.
The Hokies have been very effective on defense, running the 1-3-1 zone.
It's been some of the best defensive basketball played under Greenberg in his time at Tech. But a lack of offense has prevented the Hokies from winning some big games this year.
This zone helps to keep the frontcourt players, Jeff Allen and Victor Davila, out of foul trouble. However, these guys love to foul, but this zone has helped with the problem.
The Hokies are allowing 63.5 points per game. But again, that's against good competition early in the season.
There are two key matchups in this game.
One is between Jeff Allen and JaJuan Johnson in the frontcourt. The second lies in the backcourt against Delany and E'Twaun Moore.
The seniors will define the pace of the game for their respective teams. But Delaney has a better sidekick in his backcourt with Dorenzo Hudson.
That being said, Hudson has struggled more than expected this season. But with an amped-up home crowd, look for Hudson to put together his best game of the year.
The Hokies lack most of their depth in the frontcourt, which is why the play of their backcourt is the most important.
Hudson has been the missing link for the Hokies this season. His below-average play has hurt the Hokies in close games.
If Hudson steps up and Delaney continues to play at a high level, the Hokies will overcome the lack of depth up front in this game and in the future.