"I shoot tons of free throws every day so it's frustrating", said Hall, who had a team-high 16 points, going 5 of 10 on 3-pointers. It got nothing but. air.
The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1), whose only loss prior to Saturday had been a 68-61 decision at West Virginia on December 5, had been poised to replace Villanova as the No. 1 team in the country on Monday. Virginia Tech had knocked off one of, if not the best team in college basketball. It was there that Virginia somehow had a way to win, but found a way to lose, 61-60 against Virginia Tech.
For Virginia Tech (18-7, 7-5), the rivalry win will serve as the crown jewel of a resume that had previously appeared destined for the NCAA tournament bubble.
Robinson scored a game-high 20 points as the Hokies overcame a five-point overtime deficit to pull off the huge upset. "Our tempo was good, and for us to win at home was big". But the Hokies came right back tie when senior guard Justin Bibbs swished a three-pointer from the left wing with 2:27 to go. "I just think we have to learn from our mistakes and get better".
Virginia Tech also locked up the Cavaliers' trio of sharpshooting guards, with Hall (16 points), Kyle Guy (13 points) and Ty Jerome (11 points) combined to shoot 14-of-47 from the floor, including 9-of-34 from three, against a unit that entered the night ranked 98th in KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency.
And it's not just Duke that's on the horizon. "We just started a very hard stretch. I know that sounds like a coach, but that's what it is". But just how many can they survive? No drills. No offense. There was no good half-court sets.
"In my opinion, it's an incredible credit, and it speaks to the fiber and character of our guys, that in early February they were willing to accept what we were saying and figure out a way to be accountable in what we had to do". Expectedly, it was apple-picking for him, as he made easy work of over 10 plus students, still displaying remnants of skill that he had through his storied Duke time and stints in the National Basketball Association.
The Hokies (17-8, 7-6), meanwhile, secured a signature victory that's certain to boost their NCAA tournament profile - and they did so by overcoming a five-point deficit in the final 39 seconds of overtime, with Kerry Blackshear Jr.'s putback of an offensive rebound producing the final margin with 5.8 seconds remaining. "Lot of jumps to the ball". "Then when it went in, I said 'Oh my god, it went in.' It would be him to shoot it, that's just the type of player he is". "They're (the Cavaliers) a really good, efficient scoring team, and we were able to slow them down, and that was a result of what we've been practicing, what we've been working on". The Wolfpack have a number of great wins (at North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Arizona) but are in a bit of a tough spot because of three Quadrant 3 losses and a less-than-stellar non-conference SOS.
It has Virginia Tech to thank for that. The momentum was there, its deafening crowd had come alive again and Virginia Tech had lost confidence.so we all thought.
Bennett, though, shouldn't be anxious, at least not according to Williams.
Falling behind early on Saturday amid a raucous atmosphere, Virginia Tech steadied itself after Coach Buzz Williams called timeout seven minutes into the first half. Put another way, those losses are not necessarily going to hurt their profile.
"If you're a little off", Bennett said, "it's not enough". Then Jerome had a heave to win the game, but fell up short.
They are? Bennett probably will be relieved, and surprised, to hear that.
Down one now, with just 22 seconds to go, Tech still had to foul.