Buzzer-beater in OT keeps Virginia Tech’s NCAA Tournament hopes alive
Virginia Tech’s bubble looked set to burst on Wednesday night at the ACC Tournament, but Darius Maddox had other ideas. The Hokies were in full command in the second half, but Clemson roared back to force overtime. There, it was Maddox who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hokies a thrilling 76-75 win in Brooklyn.
Maddox, who hit the dramatic winner at Miami towards the end of the regular season, came up big again in a game Tech had to win. The Hokies were down 75-73 after the Tigers went to the free throw line late, and coach Mike Young decided to take out star Keve Aluma and go for it. Maddox dribbled the length of the court, not at all rushed, pulled up while leaning to his left and drilled it, giving Tech a little boost to its postseason chances. The win means Tech will face No. 2 seed Notre Dame on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Clemson led 19-18 in the first half but didn’t lead again until late on as the Hokies squandered a double-digit lead. PJ Hall hit a hook late in regulation to force over time, with Storm Murphy missing a potential game-winning three pointer.
In the extra session, it was back and forth with the result hanging in the balance. Clemson seemed well situated to win as Tech had gone cold, but Maddox stepped up and hit his biggest shot of the season.
Aluma led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Justyn Mutts had nine points and 10 boards. Murphy started four-for-four from deep and had 15 points and four assists. Maddox finished with eight points on the night.
Tech shot 42.9 percent from deep but left points on the board at the line, going just 12 for 20. The Hokies had 14 turnovers that allowed Clemson back into things but won the rebounding battle 36-29.