On Wednesday, Virginia Tech beat Miami for the second straight week.
On Thursday, Virginia Tech will try to avoid losing to Florida State for the second straight week.
The fifth-seeded and 16th-ranked Hokies cruised past 12th-seeded Miami 71-56 in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday at the Spectrum Center.
Tech (24-7) beat Miami (14-18) for the third time this year and for the second time in six days.
“We didn’t feel like we played our best [last Friday],” said Tech’s Ty Outlaw, who had 14 points and four 3-pointers Wednesday. “We could have played way better, and that’s what we focused on today — playing our absolute best.
“We [were] clicking very well for a good bit of the game.”
The Hokies will face fourth-seeded and 12th-ranked Florida State in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Last week, the Hokies fell 73-64 at FSU in overtime. Three days later, they bounced back with a win over Miami in last Friday’s regular-season finale.
“We’re living last week in reverse this week,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said.
Tech won 82-70 at Miami on Jan. 30 and beat the Hurricanes 84-70 last Friday.
The Hurricanes again had trouble guarding the Hokies on Wednesday. The Hokies shot 50 percent from the field and drained 11 3-pointers.
“It’s hard to beat any team three times, and the fact that we were able to do it really shows that we took great discipline to the game,” said Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who had 12 points and six assists.
Outlaw sank three straight 3-pointers to help the Hokies build an 11-0 lead. They led the rest of the way.
“It was really just my teammates getting to the paint and being aware that I’m ready to shoot whenever they kick it out,” Outlaw said.
The Hokies’ lead grew to 33-13 with 5:25 left in the first half. Tech was 6 of 10 from 3-point range at that point.
“Our defense kind of fed our offense,” Alexander-Walker said. “We were getting stops, getting out in transition and just kind of playing — free-flowing. There wasn’t really much structure to it. So I think that’s what really helped, because we got them to break down early.”
The Hokies led 38-21 at halftime. They shot 53.8 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from 3-point territory (7 of 13) in the first half.
“They move the ball extremely fast to basically four guards on the perimeter and a big guy who can really handle [it],” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “All five guys shoot the 3. They spread you out. Their touches, where it’s in your hand and out of your hand without dribbling, gives them a chance to get open shots. The defense can’t move as fast as the ball can.”
Miami switched to a zone defense. The Hurricanes cut the lead to 42-35 with 14:54 left, but Tech went on a 20-5 run to build a 62-40 cushion with 8:20 to go.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 10 points in the run. He finished the game with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hurricanes shot just 33.9 percent from the field and 27.6 percent (8 of 29) from 3-point range.
“Our whole defense is predicated on making guys shoot 3s and just having our hands up,” Outlaw said. “It’s our third time playing them. We knew exactly what to expect.”
Tech had a first-round bye. But Miami, which began the game with only seven healthy scholarship players, was playing its second game in as many days.
“Guys are tired,” said Miami guard DJ Vasiljevic, who had 17 points.
Now the Hokies get another crack at Florida State (25-6).
In last week’s loss to the Seminoles, Tech blew a 33-19 halftime lead.
“We kind of relaxed, … letting them get back in it,” Outlaw said.
“If we keep the intensity that we had similar to the first half for a whole 40 minutes, I think that puts us in a really good position to win at a neutral site,” Blackshear said.
FSU shot just 26.9 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from 3-point range (3 of 16) in the first half of that game. But in the second half, Florida State shot 50 percent from the field and made six 3-pointers.
“In the first half at Florida State, we were able to keep the ball high on the floor and not get in [defensive] rotation,” Williams said. “In the second half, we did a poor job of that.”
Tech turned the ball over 14 times against the Seminoles.
“Their pressure really bothered us offensively the first eight or nine minutes of the second half,” Williams said.