WFU Demon Deacons take on Virginia Commonwealth in NIT second round

Winston-Salem, NC – The Wake Forest men’s basketball team will face VCU in the second round of the NIT on Saturday, March 19 inside Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 4 p.m.

Wake Forest basketball coach Steve Forbes. (photo by Gene Galin)

Saturday’s matchup will mark the fourth all-time meeting between the Demon Deacons (24-9, 13-7) and Rams (22-9, 14-4 A-10), and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+. Fans can follow along via the Demon Deacons Twitter and Instagram accounts (@WakeMBB).

News & Notes:

●       After finishing the regular season with a program-record-tying 13 ACC wins, Wake Forest is in its first postseason appearance since appearing in the First Four during the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

○       The team’s 10 ACC-win improvement from last season marks the best year-over-year improvement in conference record in ACC history.

○       Additionally, the team’s 18-game improvement year-over-year is tied for the second-best turnaround in NCAA history, behind only Towson (2021, 4-14; 2022, 25-8).

●       Wake Forest has now compiled seven NIT appearances and owns a combined NIT record of 11-5 going into Saturday.

○       Wake Forest’s last trip to the NIT came in 2006, when the team was defeated by Minnesota in the first round.

○       The 1999-00 Demon Deacons won the 2000 NIT, defeating Notre Dame 71-61 in the title game.

●       A victory over VCU would provide Wake Forest with its fifth 25-win season in program history, and first 25-win season since 2004-05 (27-6).

●       The Demon Deacons enter postseason action boasting the ACC Player of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year in Alondes Williams and Steve Forbes.

○       With Dave Clawson winning Coach of the Year honors in football, Wake Forest is the first ACC program since Virginia Tech in 2004-05 to have Coaches of the Year in both Men’s Basketball and Football.

●       Alondes Williams (32 points away) and Isaiah Mucius (44 points away) are both approaching the 1,000 career-point threshold.

○       With Daivien Williamson (1,326) and Jake LaRavia (1,052) having already reached that milestone, Wake Forest could have four active players with 1,000 career points.

●       In addition to his ACC Player of the Year Award, Alondes Williams (621 points, 172 assists) has joined Randolph Childress (644 points, 167 assists in 1994-95) as the only Demon Deacons to rank inside the top 15 of the program’s single season scoring and assists leaderboard.

●       Several players currently rank on the program’s all-time leaderboards:

○       Alondes Williams: 621 points ranks 15th, 172 assists ranks 12th.

○       Isaiah Mucius: 68 made three-pointers ranks 14th.

○       Dallas Walton: 47 blocked shots ranks tied for 22nd.

○       Jake LaRavia: 53 steals ranks tied for 17th.

○       Daivien Williamson: .855 free throw percentage ranks 13th, 60 three-pointers ranks 19th.

Wake Forest is coming off a strong outing over Towson in the first round on Wednesday night, in which the team’s efficient shooting and well-balanced offensive attack procured a 74-64 victory. All nine Demon Deacons that saw action scored, and the team shot 49.0 percent from the field while holding Towson to just 34.8 percent.

Dallas Walton led the offensive effort with 17 points, marking his fourth straight game of double-digit scoring – the first such streak of his career. Walton was 5-of-11 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the stripe.

Damari Monsanto caught fire and scored all 14 of his points in the second half, including four makes from beyond the arc. Monsanto has now tallied four triples in three of his past five games, and is shooting 41.6 percent from downtown since his return from injury.

Isaiah Mucius also finished in double figures, with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting along with two blocks and a steal; and Jake LaRavia posted another complete game, exiting the contest with a line of nine points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block.

Standout Stats:

Wake Forest finished in the top five in the ACC in multiple statistical categories during league play, both offensively and defensively:

●       1st in field goal percentage (.491)

●       1st in scoring offense (78.6)

●       1st in fouls drawn (17.3/game)

●       2nd in field goal % defense (.416)

●       2nd in assists (15.6/game)

●       3rd in rebounding (36.9/game)

●       4th in made free throws (12.7/game)

●       5th in 3-point field goal % defense (.333)

●       5th in blocks (3.9/game)

Last Time

Wake Forest vs. Towson (March 16, 2022)

Result: W, 74-64


Series History

Versus Towson

Series: Wake Forest leads, 2-1

Last: November 16, 2010

Result: L, 69-90 in Preseason NIT

Up Next

With a victory over VCU, Wake Forest will advance to the third round and face the winner of Texas A&M/Oregon next week.

Game date, time and broadcast information will be announced when made available.