Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Virginia Cavaliers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

Wake Forest will aim to keep its pristine home record intact and put another resume-boosting tally in the win column Saturday when the team hosts Virginia at Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons (11-4, 3-1 ACC) are 9-0 at home this season, while Virginia (11-4, 2-2) is 0-3 in true road games.

Both squads are coming off losses. Virginia hasn’t played since last Saturday when it lost 76-60 at North Carolina State. It was the second time in three games that the Cavaliers allowed their opponent to knock down at least 10 3-pointers.

Virginia is 1-4 this season when opponents make at least eight shots from behind the arc.

Wake Forest is making an average of 8.6 3-pointers per game this season and is shooting from deep at a 37.8 percent clip, which is 29th-best in the nation and second in the ACC.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett is more concerned with his team showing leadership and togetherness.

“It’s a collective thing. We don’t have maybe the boisterous, natural leaders, so with that, it’s got to be everybody,” Bennett said. “Some guys will talk on the floor, but there’s also, when you’re new to stuff or a little uncertain, it’s hard to be bold in your leadership. It’s collective, and you just keep pushing that way.”

Wake Forest is coming off its first ACC loss of the season, 87-82 Tuesday at Florida State. On the bright side, it was the seventh straight game that the Demon Deacons have scored 80 points or more, their longest such streak since the 2016-17 season.

The Deacs also had tied a season-best with nine steals against Florida State, but Wake’s defense overall simply wasn’t good enough. And while Wake scored in bunches, it also turned the ball over a season-high 20 times.

“Florida State did a great job of speeding us up on offense the entire game with their aggressiveness, length and switching,” Wake coach Steve Forbes said. “They made it very difficult to get a catch on offense, which led to over-dribbling and trying to make plays for ourselves instead of moving the ball.

“They were very handsy on defense, causing 20 turnovers. I can’t remember the last time we had more than 10.”

Kevin Miller and Hunter Sallis both average more than 17 points per game for Wake Forest, while Virginia is led by Reece Beekman’s 12.9 points per game.

Virginia is 70-71 all-time against Wake Forest and is just 18-41 in Winston-Salem.

–Field Level Media

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