Home Final Four-bound: Top seed Virginia Tech makes history with win over Ohio State

Final Four-bound: Top seed Virginia Tech makes history with win over Ohio State

Chris Graham

final four Virginia Tech, led by Waynesboro native Kenny Brooks, is headed to the Final Four for the first time in the school’s history, after the top-seeded Hokies defeated #3 seed Ohio State, 84-74, on Monday night.

The Hokies (31-4) will face LSU (32-2) on Friday night in a national semifinal matchup.

Brooks, a 1986 graduate of Waynesboro High School, took over as the head coach at Virginia Tech in 2016, after an impressive run at James Madison, his alma mater, where he compiled a 337-122 record in 14 seasons.

In his seventh season in Blacksburg, Brooks’ teams had won a grand total of one NCAA Tournament game in two appearances before this season, but the 2022-2023 Hokies are among the hottest teams in the sport right now, winning 15 straight since a late January loss at Duke.

They finally trailed for the first time in the NCAA Tournament, as Ohio State (28-8) led by as many as five in the first half, before Tech closed on a 12-4 run to go into the break up 48-45.

Virginia Tech took control in the third quarter with defense, limiting the Buckeyes, who had shot 64.3 percent in the first half, to 4-of-15 shooting in the third quarter, holding Ohio State to 10 points as the Hokies built a 63-55 lead after three.

Ohio State would get as close as six twice in the fourth quarter, but a Georgia Amoore three with 4:36 left helped the Hokies go up 13, at 73-60, and Tech closed out the game going 8-of-8 at the line in the final 1:41.

Elizabeth Kitley led Virginia Tech with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Amoore finished with 24 points – her sixth straight game of 20+ points, a streak dating back to the ACC Tournament.

Cayla King and Taylor Soule each had 12 points for the Hokies, who held the Buckeyes to 8-of-29 shooting (27.6 percent) in the second half.

Taylor Mikesell had 25 points for Ohio State, but Mikesell had just six points on 2-of-8 shooting in the second half.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].