Third-seeded West Virginia beat No. 14 seed Morehead State, 84-67.
The Mountaineers’ victory was the 900th of Coach Bob Huggins’s career.
No. 5 seed Villanova held off 12th-seeded Winthrop, 73-63.
Villanova had lost three of its previous four games.
Despite playing without starting point guard Collin Gillespie, who has an injured knee, Jay Wright and Villanova advance to the round of 32 for the seventh straight tournament. The Wildcats have won two of the last four N.C.A.A. titles. Three more Big East schools are up on Saturday: UConn, Georgetown and Creighton.
Tenth-seeded Rutgers made it to the second round of the men’s tournament for the first time since 1983 with a bracket upset of No. 7 Clemson on Friday.
Geo Baker’s layup with 11 seconds on the clock effectively ended the game, securing a 60-56 win for the Scarlet Knights.
This was Rutgers’s first appearance in the men’s N.C.A.A. tournament appearance since 1991. Still, the upset was not as surprising as a handful of others in the first round on Friday. (Former President Barack Obama saw it coming.)
The crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which has capacity limitations to encourage social distancing, appeared to be one of the largest of the day. A majority of the spectators wore red.
“It was great, Rutgers nation came out,” Rutgers Coach Steve Pikiell said in a call with the news media after the game. He added: “They were loud. It helps.”
With Rutgers earning its first N.C.A.A. tournament victory since 1983, the Big Ten improved to 3-3 so far in this tournament: Rutgers, Wisconsin and Illinois have wins, while Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue are done. Maryland, Iowa and Michigan play Saturday.
Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim is having himself quite a March.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last week, he scored 27 points against North Carolina State on March 10. The next day, when Syracuse played Virginia, he put up 31, a career high.
He nearly upended his personal best just eight days later: On Friday night, when the 11th-seeded Orange faced No. 6 San Diego State, he scored 30, including seven 3-pointers.
And, yes, Syracuse won with ease, 78-62, giving Boeheim’s father, Coach Jim Boeheim, his 57th career victory in an N.C.A.A. tournament. San Diego State led for less than six minutes of the game.
Syracuse will meet third-seeded West Virginia on Sunday.
No. 11 seed Syracuse routed sixth-seeded San Diego State, 78-62.
San Diego State led for less than six minutes of the game.
No. 10 seed Rutgers got past seventh-seeded Clemson, 60-56.
Rutgers got the win in its first appearance in the men’s tournament since 1991.
Dawn Staley, one of the most admired coaches in women’s basketball, excoriated the N.C.A.A. on Friday for its approach to her sport and its national tournament — a 64-team event that the governing body of college sports acknowledged Friday had received inadequate resources compared with those available in the men’s competition.
“I cannot be quiet,” Staley, South Carolina’s coach, said at the start of a lengthy statement posted on her Twitter account.
“What we now know is the N.C.A.A.’s season-long messaging about ‘togetherness’ and ‘equality’ was about convenience and a sound bite for the moment created after the murder of George Floyd,” she wrote later, referencing the Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last spring. Directing her sharpest criticism at Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, Staley said that he and other association executives could not be allowed to “use us and our student-athletes at their convenience.”
“Every team here in San Antonio has earned and deserves at a minimum the same level of respect as the men,” said Staley, whose team is a No. 1 seed. “All the teams here dealt with the same issues as the men’s teams this season; yet their ‘reward’ is different.”
Emmert and other N.C.A.A. executives on Friday acknowledged disparities — most prominently involving coronavirus testing and workout facilities — and, in some instances, apologized for them. But Staley said Friday evening that it was “time for the N.C.A.A. leadership to re-evaluate the value they place on women.”
Another upset in the first round as No. 13 North Texas advances and No. 4 Purdue heads a short way home to West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue tried to resurge with some strong rebounding in the second half, and got the game into overtime on a layup from Trevion Williams. who ended the game with 14 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
But once the Boilermakers got there, the Mean Green surged ahead and a missed 3-pointer by Jaden Ivey, who had 23 points, sealed Purdue’s fate. North Texas won, 78-69.
Mardrez McBride of North Texas finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, finding open space where there did not seem to be any. But it was James Reese and Javion Hamlet who closed the game with a string of free throws to keep the North Texas lead in overtime.
Safe to say, judging by the strength of the boos rattling the north side of Lucas Oil Stadium, where the teams faced off, that many viewers — at least in person — were not happy.
There is no longer a team from Indiana in the 2021 men’s tournament.
It’s been a huge day for Baylor’s Scott Drew and his coaching tree. Drew’s top-seeded team won, but so did North Texas, which upset Purdue, and Oral Roberts, which downed Ohio State. Coaches Grant McCasland of North Texas and Paul Mills of Oral Roberts both worked for Drew in Waco.
No. 13 seed North Texas upset No. 4 seed Purdue in overtime, 78-69.
Purdue was the only team from Indiana in the field of 68.
No. 13 seeds were 29-111 (.207) against No. 4 seeds coming into the tournament. North Texas is looking to add to that total.
Purdue gets another chance. Trevion Williams tied up the score with 22 seconds left against North Texas, sending the game that was getting away from the No. 4 seed into overtime.
No. 2 seed Houston easily beat No. 15 Cleveland State, 87-56.
Houston gets Clemson on Sunday.
Oklahoma State survived an uneven performance from Cade Cunningham and a gritty performance from Liberty to advance to the second round.
The 6-foot-8 Cunningham, who is projected by some experts to be selected with the No. 1 pick in the N.B.A. draft, shot just 3 for 14 for 15 points with five rebounds and one assist as No. 4 seed Oklahoma State held off No. 13 seed Liberty, 69-60. Cunningham, who had just 1 point in the first half, scored 9 straight points to help close the game for the Cowboys, who won their first N.C.A.A. tournament game since 2009. They will next face No. 12 seed Oregon State, which knocked off Tennessee, 70-56.
Cunningham is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy as the nation’s top college player and is hoping to lead his team on a deep run in his lone season in college, much like Carmelo Anthony did in 2003 when he carried Syracuse to a national championship.
“Melo is big shoes to fill but I’m up for the challenge for sure,” Cunningham said this week.
In early June, the N.C.A.A. punished Oklahoma State for its role in a bribery scandal that ensnared several coaches, including a former assistant for the Cowboys. The punishment included a postseason ban for 2021.
But Oklahoma State was able to play in this tournament because the N.C.A.A. appeals process is still playing out.
The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for Liberty (23-6), the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Avery Anderson led the Cowboys with 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals and Isaac Likekele had 11 points and six rebounds. Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe went for 10 points and nine rebounds.
Elijah Cuffee led Liberty with 16 points and four assists.
These traditional powers are either out of — or were never in — the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament: North Carolina, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke, Louisville, Indiana, Arizona.
With North Carolina’s loss to Wisconsin, Roy Williams lost a first-round game in the N.C.A.A. tournament for the first time as a head coach. Even after tonight’s defeat, his first-round record is still extraordinary: 29-1.
No. 9 seed Wisconsin breezed past No. 8 seed North Carolina, 85-62.
The Badgers get No. 1 seed Baylor in the second round.
Fourth-seeded Oklahoma State held off No. 13 seed Liberty, 69-60.
Cade Cunningham, who is likely to be a top N.B.A. draft pick, struggled in the first half.
N.C.A.A. President Mark Emmert was eager for attention to turn back toward the action on the court Friday as the men’s tournament tipped off in Indianapolis after several days of missteps by his organization, beginning with six referees being sent home for violating virus protocols and continuing on with protests by players over the marketing rights to their names and equal treatment of women.
Emmert, in an interview with three reporters at Hinkle Fieldhouse, said it was “inexcusable” that the women’s training rooms cobbled together at a San Antonio hotel consisted of a handful of hand weights, but he pushed back against charges of inequality between the women and men.
Critics cited two other examples on Friday: the women were given antigen coronavirus tests, which are less reliable than the polymerase chain reaction tests used for the men; and the quality of gifts the players received and their inability to have food delivered to the hotels were they are encamped.
“We haven’t had this kind of issue before because the tournaments are run in quite different ways,” Emmert said, referring to how the first two rounds of the women’s tournament are normally held at 16 campus facilities.
Emmert parried several questions about the inequities over facilities, gifts and testing, saying he did not have enough information, but maintained that he had “complete confidence” in the tests the women were receiving.
As for these issues clouding the start of the first major event the N.C.A.A. has put on since the pandemic — it does not administer the College Football Playoff — Emmert said: “It’s deeply disappointing, first and foremost because we want the student athletes to have a great experience. Anything that detracts from a bad experience from the students is really disturbing.”
Eighth-seeded North Carolina bounced back after a miserable 2019-20 season. But its first-round date with No. 9 Wisconsin is leaving plenty to be desired: The Tar Heels are trailing by 18 with just more than eight minutes to play.
We’re not even through half of the first round, but the field has already seen a pair of sizable upsets. Here’s how the coaches broke down what happened in their games.
No. 15 Oral Roberts 75, No. 2 Ohio state 72 (OT)
Coach Paul Mills of Oral Roberts
On how turnovers mattered: “We’re top 25 in the country at not turning it over, and Ohio State is 336th in the country at causing turnovers. So we knew that we were coming into a game where there wasn’t going to be a whole lot of pressure. We do a good job taking care of the ball. That’s not their strength. They do a number of things really, really well, obviously, but their strength isn’t that they’re going to pressure you.”
On facing a juggernaut: “Who walks into a game and says the other person can’t be beaten? I mean, I don’t think anybody does. As I shared with the guys, don’t let anybody put a number in front of your name. And it’s hard, right? Because when they’re high school players, they want a number in front of their name. They’re ranked this, or they’re ranked that, because that ranking is going to bring something for them, whether it be attention or a scholarship offer.”
Coach Chris Holtmann of Ohio State
On how the Buckeyes faltered: “I thought our preparation was really good. I thought that we just had too many missed opportunities, too many turnovers, too many empty possessions on offense. Did not think we had a great start. That’s my fault.”
No. 12 Oregon State 70, No. 5 Tennessee 56
Coach Wayne Tinkle of Oregon State
On the day’s defensive focus: “We have this drill we put in a little while back, and it’s called the change drill. It’s where we’ve got pressure on the ball. Everybody else is loaded into their gaps, man or zone. We talked about in the scouting report taking away the elbows and the blocks by having a presence there off the ball so that they couldn’t get their drives to the rim. They’re so athletic.
“Then we had to get to their shooters with high hands in man and zone. We lost them a couple times, but you look at the defensive numbers, I’d say, other than a couple of touch-down turnovers, the guys really responded to the defensive focus.”
On Oregon State’s team assists: “Our scouting report was they really dig hard in their help if you can get by the first wave. So we really worked hard on moving back behind any penetration, kicking the ball, sharing it. The “one more” phrase, we’ve been yelling that a lot in practice the last couple of months, and the guys have bought into it. I mean, we have really come together as a team, and you saw it on display.
“I think we were top 20 in the country most of the year, I think still, in our assist to field goal percentage. It’s just a credit of executing our offense. I thought we did a great job on that out of time-outs, especially the first 30, 34 minutes. We got the looks we were expecting to get early in the game to set the tone, and then the guys just kept making plays for each other.”
Coach Rick Barnes of Tennessee
On how Tennessee lost: “They played a good basketball game. Just sorry that we didn’t give them more competition really. I just told our team it was disappointing in the way that we started out. They had an inside game, and we didn’t get a chance — we didn’t do what we have to do to stop that, and we had no inside game. We couldn’t.
“They were certainly packed back in there daring us to make threes or take shots, and we had some looks, but it didn’t go down. Didn’t get much on the offensive board the way we needed to, but overall, give them credit for it. Disappointed that I didn’t think we played our best basketball. It’s hard to play this game when the ball’s not going in and when you don’t have an inside presence.”
Purdue cannot seem to contain the Mean Green, who have been able to take some wide open shots to extend their lead over the Boilermakers. The sole Indiana team in Indianapolis for the tournament, No. 4 seed Purdue has missed some easy shots and is 7 for 23 from the floor. North Texas leads 32-24 going into the second half.
Cade Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick in the N.B.A. draft, is struggling at 2-for-8 shooting for 6 points with three rebounds and one assist as No. 4 Oklahoma State is in a battle with No. 13 Liberty, up 53-47. He just went to the bench for a breather.
In a normal year, when a player sinks a buzzer-beating shot in a N.C.A.A. tournament game, tens of thousands of fans erupt in celebration.
This year will prove to be a bit quieter, even if the venue is larger.
The men’s Final Four tournament will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, a 70,000-seat arena home to the N.F.L.’s Indianapolis Colts. The crowd will be capped at 25 percent of capacity, with fans masked and seated in socially distanced pods of two, four or six. And the area reserved for each 29-member band will be empty.
“I understand the N.C.A.A’s decision,” Jake Tedeschi, 22, a senior tenor saxophone player in the No. 1 seed University of Illinois’s basketball pep band, said. “But man, I wish I could be there. I’m hoping they’ll reconsider for the Final Four.”
But now, that dream is dashed, too.
After previously excluding bands only through the Elite Eight, an N.C.A.A. spokesman said in an email on Friday that no bands would be allowed at any of the games in either the men’s or women’s basketball tournaments this year.
The decision, he said, was based on health and safety protocols developed with local health authorities, which “led to reductions in the size of official travel parties and limits on overall capacity in venues.”
The six Indiana venues that will host this year’s games, he said, will still play school fight songs and anthems. They will screen cheer video performances, and other band music will be in rotation.
But the honking tubas and energy-building improvisation of pep bands are what attracts many fans to the college game — they are the antithesis of the N.B.A.’s reliance on canned noise to punctuate big blocks and thunderous dunks. And bands have an even more crucial role in the N.C.A.A. tournament, Barry L. Houser, the director of the University of Illinois’s marching and athletic bands for the past 10 years, said.
“There’s nothing like live music to bring a stadium or arena alive,” he said. “The playing of a fight song after a great play or going into a hot timeout after an amazing play for the team can really get the crowd riled up.”
The first day of the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament on Thursday proved a historic one for historically Black colleges and universities.
Texas Southern and Norfolk State both earned victories, marking the first time two H.B.C.U.s won games in the same men’s tournament.
Texas Southern, out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Mount Saint Mary’s, 60-52, at Assembly Hall in the first of four play-in games between teams vying to reach the round of 64.
Texas Southern will next face top-seeded Michigan on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern at Mackey Arena.
“This game coming up with Michigan on Saturday obviously wasn’t on our schedule, but we’re glad that we’ve put ourselves in a situation and got an opportunity in the N.C.A.A. tournament to play one of the top teams in the country, so it’s not anything that our guys are not used to,” Coach Johnny Jones said. “It’s a challenge that they certainly accept.”
In a battle of No. 16 seeds, Norfolk State, out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, held off Appalachian State, 54-53 after Devante Carter made free throws with 8.6 seconds left at Assembly Hall.
The Spartans’ reward? A date with No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga on Saturday at 9:20 p.m. Eastern at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The wins by the pair of H.B.C.U.s came after the N.B.A. and the players union last month pledged $2.5 million in support of H.B.C.U.s and communities of color as part of its All-Star Game activities.
It’s only March 19, but Tennessee has already hit (at least) a trifecta of athletic misfortune this year: It has fired its football coach, seen its athletic director exit and, as of Friday, fallen in a first-round upset in the N.C.A.A. tournament.
Oregon State, the Pac-12 tournament champion with a No. 12 seed in this tournament’s Midwest region, ousted the fifth-seeded Volunteers, 70-56, with relative ease at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. It was the first time Oregon State, which had been picked to finish last in its conference in the preseason, had advanced past the first round since the Reagan administration.
But Rick Barnes, Tennessee’s coach, had foreseen possible trouble.
“Oregon State finished as strong as any team in the country,” he said this week. “They won their conference, beat Oregon, U.C.L.A., and Colorado in that order, which shows how well they are playing. A team that’s been coached well, they’ve gotten better, and playing their best basketball right now. Most teams that are playing right now are capable of playing their best basketball, and I like to think that we’re on the verge of doing that as well.”
Tennessee, for instance, managed to make just one-third of its shots from the field and never held a lead. The preseason favorite to win the Southeastern Conference, it had the game tied just once.
Meanwhile, Oregon State sank nearly half of its shots, and four players scored at least 10 points each.
The Beavers, who led by 20 points at one point on Friday, will play the winner of the Liberty-Oklahoma State game.
Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner and his clear face mask are going home, and Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are moving on.
No. 8 seed Loyola-Chicago knocked off No. 9 seed Georgia Tech, the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament champion, 71-60 to advance to a second-round matchup with top-seeded Illinois on Sunday.
According to her bracket, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sister Jean has Loyola (25-4) beating Ayo Dosunmu and Illinois and eventually advancing to the Elite Eight before losing to West Virginia.
Sister Jean and the Ramblers are back in the tournament for the first time since their surprise run to the Final Four in 2018.
Lucas Williamson led Loyola with a season-high 21 points along with six rebounds and four assists. Braden Norris had 15 points, Keith Clemons had 12 and Cameron Krutwig, the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, was held to 10 points and five rebounds. The Ramblers shot 11-of-27 on 3-pointers.
“I know it feels so good and I want just to feel it again,” said Williamson, referring to the Final Four run in 2018. “I was just doing whatever I could to help put my team in a position to win.”
As for facing Illinois, he said, “It’s going to take everything we got. They’re one of the best teams in the country. We’re just going to have to come with it and be us.’
Georgia Tech was forced to play without the A.C.C. player of the year, Moses Wright, who was out because of coronavirus protocols. The Yellow Jackets were hurt on rebounding as a result.
Jose Alvarado, the Georgia Tech point guard who won defensive player of the year honors, wore Wright’s jersey number to honor him and finished with 13 points.
No. 12 seed Oregon State upset No. 5 seed Tennessee, 70-56.
Ethan Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers.
No. 8 Loyola-Chicago tops No. 9 Georgia Tech, 71-60.
Get ready for more Sister Jean in Round 2 against top-seeded Illinois.
Top-seeded Baylor cruised past Hartford, 79-55.
If a 16-over-1 men’s upset is to be had this year, it will have to happen on Saturday.
Oral Roberts has joined an elite club.
Behind a combined 59 points from Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor, the Golden Eagles became just the ninth No. 15 seed ever to topple a 2 when they stunned Ohio State, 75-72, in overtime in the first round. It was the program’s first N.C.A.A. tournament win since 1974.
Some had Ohio State pegged as a potential Final Four team, but they are out and Oral Roberts advances to play No. 7 Florida on Sunday.
Oral Roberts became the first No. 15 seed to upset a No. 2 since Middle Tennessee State defeated Michigan State in 2016.
Other famous 15/2 upsets featured Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown in 2013, Lehigh over Duke in 2012 and Richmond over Syracuse in 1991.
Oral Roberts outscored Ohio State 11-8 in the extra period.
With Ohio State trailing 73-69, E.J. Liddell drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 73-72.
Obanor then made two free throws to push the lead to 75-72 with 13 seconds remaining. He finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds.
Ohio State missed two 3-point attempts in the final seconds.
“I didn’t know if it was going in or not. I knew that the guys weren’t going to quit on the play, and that’s a great basketball team we just beat. At the end of the day we knew they weren’t going to quit and we were able to come out with a victory,” said Abmas, the leading scorer in Division I. He poured in 29 points on 10-of-24 shooting for Oral Roberts, and had 18 at the half, when Oral Roberts led 36-33.
About 24 hours into the tournament, two Big Ten powers are out: Ohio State and Michigan State, which lost in a First Four game Thursday night to U.C.L.A.
No. 15 seed Oral Roberts upset second-seeded Ohio State in overtime, 75-72.
The Buckeyes missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds.
Overtime for No. 15 seed Oral Roberts and No. 2 seed Ohio State. The Buckeyes were selected as champs on about 3 percent of ESPN and Yahoo brackets, and only a handful of teams were more popular picks.
UConn point guard R.J. Cole (concussion protocol) has officially been cleared to play for the No. 7 Huskies against No. 10 Maryland on Saturday, Coach Dan Hurley announced.
Butler Blue IV met Sister Jean.
That’s the news, and it is delightful.
The English bulldog installed last year as Butler’s mascot greeted Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 101-year-old nun who has been the team chaplain for Loyola-Chicago since the mid-1990s.
Sister Jean traveled to Indianapolis after the N.C.A.A. and the university reached a deal this week for her to attend the Friday game. The eighth-seeded Ramblers are meeting No. 9 Georgia Tech in the first round in the Midwest region.
If you just want to read about a dog and/or Sister Jean, we’ve got you covered.
No. 15 seeds are 8-132 (.057) all time against No. 2 seeds, but Max Abmas and Oral Roberts are trying to add to the list against No. 2 Ohio State. Abmas, the leading scorer in Division I at 24.2 points per game, has 18 at halftime.
A quarter of the day’s games are done. No upsets — yet.
Illinois, the top seed in the Midwest region, dispatched No. 16 Drexel, 78-49. Kofi Cockburn, the 7-foot sophomore center, scored 18 points for Illinois. The Fighting Illini did not exactly rely on 3-point shots to capture a double-digit victory, attempting seven and making just two.
The Arkansas Razorbacks, the third seed in the South region, overcame a near-disastrous first half to oust Colgate, the 14th seed, from the tournament. Although Colgate trailed by only 3 at the intermission, the Razorbacks outscored the Raiders 49-35 in the second. Final score: 85-68, Arkansas.
The seventh seed in the South, Florida, needed overtime to finish off No. 10 Virginia Tech. Colin Castleton, a junior forward, led the Gators with 19 points to help steer Florida past a scoring outburst by Virginia Tech’s Nahiem Alleyne, who finished with 30 after his 3-point shot sent the game into extra minutes.
Texas Tech, the South’s sixth seed, extinguished No. 11 Utah State’s ambitions with a 65-53 victory at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Texas Tech managed a 13-0 run at one point in the second half.
No. 6 seed Texas Tech defeated No. 11 seed Utah State, 65-53.
Mac McClung led the Red Raiders with 16 points.
Ohio State, the No. 2 seed in the South region, is down at halftime to No. 15 Oral Roberts. The score at Mackey Arena: 36-33, Oral Roberts.
Top-seeded Illinois romped past 16th-seeded Drexel, 78-49.
Loyola-Chicago is next up.
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Marc Lebryk/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
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Patrick Gorski/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Marc Lebryk/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
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There was a small dose of March Madness right out of the gate in the first game of Friday’s round of 64.
Virginia Tech’s Nahiem Alleyne hit a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in regulation to force overtime against Florida. Still, the Gators ultimately prevailed, 75-70, by outscoring the Hokies 48-37 after trailing at the half. The Gators came back from a 10-point deficit in the win.
Florida advanced to the second round for the eighth straight time in the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament and will face the winner between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 15 Oral Roberts in the South region.
Tre Mann’s 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the overtime gave Florida a 74-70 lead. He finished with 14 points. Colin Castleton went for 19 points and 14 rebounds and Scottie Lewis tallied 15 points and four rebounds.
Alleyne poured in a career-high 28 points for the Hokies, including 14 straight bridging the second half and overtime.
Virginia Tech had two key players foul out in the overtime. Keve Aluma fouled out with 7 points and four rebounds and Justyn Mutts left with 6 points, five rebounds and four assists.