Virginia Tech wants better showing against Wahoos

Mavericks media day at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After No. 1 Villanova and No. 3 Purdue lost - in the Boilermakers's case, twice - this week, Virginia Tech upset No. 2 Virginia in overtime in Charlottesville on Saturday night. "Our tempo was good, and for us to win at home was big".

The Spartans (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) have won eight straight, improving their chances of contending for a conference championship and earning a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia's aspirations of perfection in the ACC came to a jarring end Saturday night.

"Extremely proud of our team, just for withstanding the huge run that Virginia Tech made", UVa coach Joanne Boyle said. But it didn't happen.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored on a putback with 5.8 seconds left and Virginia Tech spoiled No. 2 Virginia's opportunity to climb to No. 1 with a 61-60 overtime victory Saturday night. And Virginia has four top-50 road wins compared to Villanova's one.

Virginia's first ACC loss, breaking the Hoos 15 game winning streak.

The Hokies are hoping for a better showing in round two. I shoot thousands of free throws.

After failing to score a point in Virginia's win over Syracuse, Cavaliers senior guard Devon Hall bounced back nicely against Florida State with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists. If for no other reason than they came close, but never finished any game in the last two months with fewer points.

Virginia Tech was able to celebrate officially when Ty Jerome's deep three-pointer missed, dealing the Cavaliers their first loss since December 5 at West Virginia. Bennett and Ty Jerome both acknowledged the team took some bad shots, but they also thought most of the attempts were there for the making.

It was a different Virginia Tech defense from the one that UVa tore up on January 3 for 78 points - an ACC high. Virginia ranks 49th in the country in basketball efficiency, with 1.087 points per possession. Blackshear Jr. scored the game-winning basket for Virginia Tech with less than 6 seconds to go in overtime, grabbing the offensive rebound over three Virginia defenders after Justin Robinson's shot and putting it back up, all while falling to the floor and getting fouled.

UVA inbounded and Hall was fouled again, this time with 13 seconds left. I think she took one dribble.

"I will remember that I missed every shot before that more than (the finish)", he said after missing all six of his 3-point attempts and not scoring until just 3:53 remained in regulation.

There are two essential points for Virginia Tech to pull off the road upset: reducing turnovers and get hot from three-point range. Like Robinson and Hall before him, Blackshear missed.

The 26 point margin of victory was the largest in the series since 1955. For the game, they were 22-of-51 (43.1%) overall and 11-of-29 (37.9%) from the outside. As Robinson was talking to reporters outside the Virginia Tech locker room, Guy stopped by, gave a fist-bump to his opponent and said, "Nice game, man".

After last weekend's disappointing performance against Miami, Buzz Williams inserted Devin Wilson into the lineup and practiced only defense all week.

The Hokies tallied 12 points in the five-minute extra session, which was remarkable considering they sputtered their way to 16 total in the second half. The pass found Alexander-Walker, who released the ball with.3 seconds to go and hit nothing but net, giving Virginia Tech some momentum going into halftime. The Cavaliers ranked in the top 25 nationally in free throw percentage. was the fourth-best free throw shooter in the country, having missed only four free throws all season, yet he missed two free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Also, hey, college basketball is fun!

ATHENS, Ga. - Jared Harper scored 24 points and Auburn, playing without top scorer Bryce Brown, showed impressive depth by beating Georgia.

Before Saturday's game, ESPN's Joe Lunardi had the Hokies in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed, while Jerry Palm of CBS had Tech as a No. 11 seed in one of the play-in games.

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