Hokies, Hoos or someone new? Who's your NCAA team?

Lynette Rowe
March 18, 2018

Virginia Tech took another big step this season by reaping a second straight NCAA bid for the first time since the 1980s. In contrast, the Tide were 16-27 (59.3%) from the field and 5-10 (50%) from downtown in the first half. Sexton was in foul trouble the first half but scored 21 of his 25 points after intermission (the other four starters combined for 25 points).

Freshman Collin Sexton poured in a game-high 25 points to go along with six assists, while fellow freshman John Petty was red-hot from beyond the arc, going 6-of-8 from three-point range and finishing with 20 points off the bench.

Alabama shot 60.9 percent from the field in the second half (14-of-23), tying its season-high set on January 27 against Oklahoma, and outscored the Hokies 45-40 to secure the win.

Alabama is in the Big Dance for only the second time this decade - it's tough to win at a such a huge football school - and is in the second round for the first time since 2006, when the Tide lost to UCLA.

Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes in scoring (24 points) en route to an 81-73 over No. 12 South Dakota State, but Kam Williams and C.J. Jackson provided significant help. DiVincenzo's five triples were the story of the first half, while Bridges authored the sequel with five threes of his own in the second 20 minutes. The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and padded it as the game went on.

There weren't many highlights for Alabama in Pittsburgh during this game. On the season, Alabama is averaging 72.4 ppg on 45.8% shooting from the field.

Virginia Tech started hot, and Wilson contributed with a few key defensive plays.

Buzz slapped the towel he was holding on the scorer's table, sending papers flying, and the refs awarded a technical. Sexton made one of two free throws. Devin Wilson shot the last shot of the season, rolling around the rim before Tyrie Jackson tipped it in as the buzzer sounded. Six different players on Villanova's squad finished with at least 10 points. However you look at it, it was a frustrating way to end the basketball season. Justin Bibbs added 17 and freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker netted 15.

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Dusan Ristic had 16 points, and Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Arizona.

At one point, Brunson had 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Jackson scored 2 points, the final bucket of the game.

Now he'll go up against a confident, bull of a player in Sexton.

Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said the statistic would be motivation for another upset at Charlotte's Spectrum Center. Charleston native Jon Elmore scored 27 points and hit four threes as he played all 40 minutes.

"Coach was preaching about that when we were in here at halftime", Hokies junior Chris Clarke said. That's a young team that is going to be really good.

Yes, Sexton will be gone, but that doesn't seem like such a bad thing after watching him against a truly special team. Yes, a win last night would've taken the program to even greater heights, but that time will come. "This is the first time we've seen the Hokies in the NCAA Tournament and we're glad to be here".

North Carolina hasn't lost an NCAA Tournament game played in its home state since 1979, a winning streak that Texas A&M was unaware of as the Aggies prepared to play the Tar Heels on Sunday in a second round game in Charlotte.

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