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Virginia Tech punches NCAA Tournament ticket with 82-67 win over Duke

hunter cattoor
Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team won’t have to sweat out Selection Sunday after all. On Saturday night in Brooklyn, the Hokies handled top-seeded Duke from start to finish to win their first ever ACC Tournament championship, 82-67.

Mike Young’s team won its fourth game in four nights to win the competition, securing an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after entering the night firmly on the bubble. Tech beat North Carolina in the semifinals on Friday night and topped Duke 24 hours later behind a stunning effort from Hunter Cattoor. The junior had a career night, scoring 31 points and going 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. He hit his first six treys of the evening.

Tech led for over 30 minutes in the game, riding the hot hand of several players en route to the hardware.

Keve Aluma finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Storm Murphy had nine points and six assists. The Hokies managed to win comfortably with key bench player Darius Maddox scoring just six points after scoring a career-high 20 in the semifinals. Additionally, backup guard Sean Pedulla, who has been on fire, didn’t score a point.

Tech finished the night shooting 50 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from deep.

The underdogs led by three points at the break but then bested Duke by 12 in the second half to cruise to the victory.

On the Duke side, with Coach K’s final ACC Tournament game spoiled, it was sure-fire NBA lottery pick Paolo Banchero who paced them with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. The Blue Devils hit just 20 percent of their threes, going 4-for-20 on the night.

The win is a monumental one for the Hokies, and on Sunday they’ll find out what seed they will receive in the big dance.

Story by Roger Gonzalez

augusta free press
augusta free press
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