Arts&Culture

Robinson helps Virginia Tech stun No. 2 Virginia

Robinson helps Virginia Tech stun No. 2 Virginia

"Lot of (defensive) slides", Virginia Tech center Kerry Blackshear Jr. said, smiling. Defense was critical to Tech's victory for the second game in a row.

"We got some open looks and we shot some that were maybe bad ones but it is what it is", Virginia head coach Tony Bennett told reporters.

"But no excuses. [The Hokies] outplayed us". They are 7-3 over their past 10 games and certainly helped their NCAA Tournament hopes. More on that another day. Hall missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw for the Cavs with 13 seconds left to set up the Blackshear game-winner.

Virginia: The Cavaliers faced a halftime deficit in their last game, but that was on the road at Florida State.

Following Villanova's mid-week loss, a win for Virginia on Saturday night would likely propel the Cavaliers to No. 1 in the country for the first time since Ralph Sampson was roaming Charlottesville during the 1982-83 campaign. "We're just trying to play and win games and worry about the next day and worry about today". For the game, UVA shot just 34.4 percent from the field.

Saturday was supposed to be a coronation for the ultimate blue-collar program, which began the season unranked and has one surefire National Basketball Association prospect (redshirt freshman De'Andre Hunter). The Wildcats lost at home to St. John's earlier in the week.

Virginia Tech (17-7, 6-5) now sits tied for fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and is coming off a 10-point home win over North Carolina State on Wednesday night. The Hokies hit five straight 3-pointers, and the Cavs missed seven straight shots.

"It stings a little bit to know that we didn't come through in that atmosphere".

The Cavaliers were down by four points with under a minute to play in regulation, but sent the game to overtime with back-to-back baskets from sophomore Ty Jerome. It appeared that Virginia's flawless ACC mark-and that No. 1 ranking-could still be salvaged.

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"They're good enough to win the national championship", Williams said.

Except this time, they did. Two free throws by Isaiah Wilkins made it 59-54, but Blackshear scored for the Hokies. Hunter slipped on defense, allowing Tech's Nikell Alexander-Walker to bury a wide-open 3-pointer. Down four, 30 seconds to go, on the road, to an incredible free-throw shooting team.

By itself, Saturday's loss shouldn't hurt the Cavaliers.

It was the fifth victory in the past six games for the Hokies, with two of the victories coming in overtime. They're also on pace for a No. 1 regional NCAA tournament seed.

Also, hey, college basketball is fun!

Virginia was led by Hall, who had 16 points.

Now it's up to the Cavaliers to rebound from rare adversity and adjust to their rivals' strategy.

"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". But like anything connected with Virginia, it won't come easily.

"I just think, us giving away some at home (the ACC losses at home), meant it was big for us to win tonight", Robinson said. "Had we been No. 1, it would have felt great". "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". That opportunity is gone.


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