Virginia (23-2, 12-1), meanwhile, squandered a chance to move up to No. 1 in next week's Associated Press Top 25 poll following Villanova's loss to St. John's on Wednesday. Virginia ranks 49th in the country in basketball efficiency, with 1.087 points per possession. But it didn't happen. The Cavaliers have to play much better in their remaining games in order to even come close to fulfilling Williams' prediction. The teams have split the season series for three consecutive seasons.
Virginia: The Cavaliers faced a halftime deficit in their last game, but that was on the road at Florida State.
The Hokies did a lot of things well in this game.
The Hokies and 'Hoos went back and forth shooting, but with 39 seconds to go, Virginia was up by five, and it really was over now. The Hokies led 33-26 at halftime, and held the lead for about 10 minutes more than UVA throughout the course of the game. I think we play three of the top 15 teams in the country over a 10-day stretch. Justin Bibbs has been leading the team with 13.8 points per game while Justin Robinson is adding 13.6 points and 5.6 assists per contest.
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With 20 seconds to go, Hokies guard Justin Robinson missed a free throw that would have virtually sealed it for Tech.
Jerome's desperation shot at the buzzer found nothing but backboard, and the celebration was on for Buzz Williams' team.
Fast forward to late in the overtime period. Virginia did hit 11 3-pointers, but needed 38 attempts (28.9 percent) to do it.
That Hall miss was in the first half, when the Cavaliers were getting stomped in the same fashion that they normally win. Following a free throw from Hall, the Hokies' Nickeil Alexander-Walker made a three-pointer to trim the margin to 60-59.
UVA inbounded and Hall was fouled again, this time with 13 seconds left. Jerome then had an open look at a three-pointer for the lead but missed off the front rim. Like Robinson and Hall before him, Blackshear missed. On Saturday, they blew a 12-point lead in the final 90 seconds and ended up having to head to overtime, but Kevin Puryear hit a huge three and Jordan Geist drew a critical charge as the Tigers got a win over Mississippi State.
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MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (RPI: 28, KenPom: 45, NBC seed: 11): It's simple with Middle Tennessee: They can not lose a game unless it is to Western Kentucky in the Conference USA tournament if they want a real chance at being an at-large team. The Cavaliers' offense would have two long swaths where their basket would be closed off: That 7:35 stretch in the first half, then a five-and-a-half-minute stretch after tying the game in the second half.
After last weekend's disappointing performance against Miami, Buzz Williams inserted Devin Wilson into the lineup and practiced only defense all week.
In 2016, for instance, Virginia, seeded first in the Midwest, failed to protect a 12-point lead in the second half and lost to No. 10 seed Syracuse, 68-62, in the regional finals in Chicago. He was a nonexistent factor in their first matchup against Virginia, shooting two of eight and missing all three of his three-pointer, only scoring four points total.
The Cavaliers shot 34 percent - with Hall, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome as the culprits of a very low percentage. The Cavaliers also were a No. 1 seed in 2014 and lost to fourth-seeded Michigan State, 61-59, in the round of 16.
That they did, most likely cementing their place in the NCAA tournament field. With so much on the line Saturday night, Virginia's magical two-month run hit a sudden and shocking end.
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Veteran Charlie Adam stepped up and saw his spot kicked brilliantly saved by Albion keeper Maty Ryan. That was the precursor to a stunning ending that started when Jese was felled by Stephens.