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Virginia Tech upsets #2 seed Notre Dame to advance to ACC semis

virginia tech notre dame
Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

For just the fourth time in school history, Virginia Tech has advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. And with that, they may have just played themselves into the NCAA Tournament. Behind a dominant offensive performance, the seventh-seeded Hokie bounced second-seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinals on Thursday night, 87-80.

Tech had five players score in double figures, with Keve Aluma scoring 20 points. Point guard Storm Murphy had two late, clutch three-pointers and had 16 total points, while Sean Pedulla had 13 points. Forward Justyn Mutts did it all on the night, recording 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals.

Mike Young’s team was largely viewed as off the bubble before the competition began, but wins on back-to-back nights against Clemson and Notre Dame puts them firmly in the conversation for an at-large bid.

Tech’s double-digit lead in the second half was cut to just four points late, but the Hokies always seemed to get a bucket when they needed to keep a cushion, earning Mike Young’s fourth win in five tries against the Fighting Irish.

The Hokies shot 36.8 percent from deep but 57.4 percent for the game, getting 32 points in the paint and 14 points off turnovers. Tech’s bench produced 19 points. The Hokies actually shot 66.6 percent in the second half. Notre Dame managed to shoot 60 percent in the second half but could never catch up.

With the win, Tech moves to the semifinals where they will play North Carolina on Friday night at  9:30 p.m. ET.

Story by Roger Gonzalez


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