No. 8 Virginia Tech falls to No. 9 Alabama, 86-83

17 Marcha, 2018, 06:35 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Patrick Smith  Getty Images

If John Petty (20 points on 6-of-9 shooting) can have another huge game, they'll have a chance. Petty, mired in a serious slump near the end of the regular season, finished with 20 points while making six of eight 3-pointers, including three in the first half to help the Crimson Tide hang around until Sexton got going.

The Hokies, who made their first back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament since 1985-86, are still seeking their first tournament win since 2007. For those who struggle with math, that's a crisp 81 percent. The Wildcats were led by junior Jalen Brunson, who had 16 points. The Wildcats lost in the first weekend as a 1 or 2 seed in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017. The Wildcats were 0 of 13 from 3-point range until Wenyen Gabriel knocked one down with 2:51 left.

After leading by two at the half, the Hokies were outscored 45-40 in the second half.

Williams had tinkered with his team's defensive approach after giving up 84 points to Miami in a loss February 3, and it paid off with low-scoring wins over Clemson, Virginia and Duke over the final month of the season. A Petty three-pointer as the finals second ticked gave the Tide some momentum heading into the locker room. Villanova coach Jay Wright also got a question about when he used Alabama football in a teaching moment with his team earlier this season.

Kevon Harris hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to put the Lumberjacks back in the lead.

Kevin Knox scored 25 for Kentucky, which next plays the Arizona-Buffalo victor. Six different players on Villanova's squad finished with at least 10 points.

March Madness is underway!

Ingram's long shot came from well above the key.

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In 2016, Villanova captured the program's second national championship.

Loyola was boosted by a pregame prayer from its team chaplain, 98-year-old Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. SFA led for 15 minutes in the first half.

Avery Johnson Jr. came in for Sexton with 12:22 left in the half. Hall did in fact play, and boy did he make an impact.

Oklahoma's Trae Young scored 28 points and passed out seven assists to go with five rebounds. The Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year made 10 of 14 shots in 32 minutes and grabbed seven rebounds. Duke will next play Rhode Island. Sexton went to the free throw line, made one of two, then flashed a smile at a section of Crimson Tide fans, as if he was telling them that everything would be okay. Bibbs averaged 13.3 points this year and scored 1,457 career points. Roland Griffin led them 21 points. Duval, Trent and Allen each hit four 3-pointers. The teams combined for 53 fouls.

The total has gone under in eight of Alabama's last 11 games on a Saturday.

Defense continues to be a major teaching point for the Wildcats. The game starts at 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 17, 2018. This gave Alabama an 85-79 lead with 25 seconds remaining.

South Dakota State, behind big man Mike Daum, was tied at 43 with Ohio State at halftime on Thursday in the West Region. His line was, of course, robust: 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting, three rebounds, three assists, two turnovers.

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