Sexton leads Alabama past Virginia Tech in first round of NCAA Tournament
17 March, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Julian Harrison
Alabama took down No. 8 Virginia Tech 86-83. While the Hokies may not be able to contain Sexton, they'll be able to slow down the rest of Alabama while experienced guards like Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs step up and get the job done to lead the Hokies to their first NCAA Tournament win in over a decade.
Leading up to Thursday's game against the Radford Highlanders, the Villanova Wildcats seemed pretty confident in their chances of advancing to the second round, although it was a little concerning early on before Jay Wright's team finally got hot from beyond the arc on their way to an 87-61 win.
Alabama's biggest lead all night was seven points.
National Basketball Association scouts will have their eyes focused on Collin Sexton during the night session in Pittsburgh. He finished with 25 points and six assists on 7 of 14 shooting. Zhaire Smith added 10 points and eight rebounds. "It has to be five of us against him, against his team". Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams, his voice already hoarse, erupted on the sideline and was hit with a technical foul. She's a tremendous 3-point shooter. "Because after that Kentucky game that I didn't play, that really hurt, I ain't going to lie, so I knew I had to come out with a spark and do what I had to do to help the team win". There were a few moments when Alabama could have pulled away late in the second half against the Hokies, but turnovers helped keep Virginia Tech in the game.
After struggling from the floor in recent games, Alabama had one of its best shooting performances of the season. But Sexton made a jumper to extend the lead to 77-72 with 1:28 left.
"When I get in that type of mode, I feel like no one can stop me from shooting the ball", Petty said.
Last season, ninth-seeded Virginia Tech lost to eighth-seeded Wisconsin 84-74.
First, I'll approach this question from the Virginia Tech perspective.
He explained, "You can't beat coming back home to play your first NCAA Tournament game". If Hall is out, it gives the Hokies an advantage in the post with the more talented and experienced Kerry Blackshear, something that would make a major difference.
The Wildcats are now 13-3 SU and 11-5 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.
"The higher you go, the altitude changes".
"I shouldn't have had a towel in my hand", Williams said. "We need to continue to get reps at that". Offensively, Villanova has been led by Jalen Brunson (19.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.7 apg), Mikal Bridges (18.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.6 spg), Donte DiVincenzo (13.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.2 spg), and Omari Spellman (10.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg).
Villanova (31-4) played to near-perfection for the first 30 minutes, and everyone played a role.
The Tide and the Hokies battled in a matchup that saw neither team hold a lead of more than seven points.
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