ESPN’s College Game Day came to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech did its best job to impress the national media attention.
Virginia Tech (19-8, 9-5 ACC) upset No. 1 Duke 64-60 and got the coveted marquee win that was missing on its NCAA tournament resume.
The Hokies got a complete team effort from its starting five. Jeff Allen was able to stay out of foul trouble and the entire starting five reached double digits in scoring.
Allen and Victor Davila each recorded a double-double.
Allen continued his hot play by scoring a team high 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Allen’s partner in the post, Davila, had arguably his best game of his career. Davila scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Virginia Tech was in control throughout the game. With 6:13 left to go, Nolan Smith hit a 3-pointer to give Duke a 55-50 lead. The Blue Devils were starting to gain momentum and looked like they were about to open the game up.
The Hokies answered by going on a 9-0 run fueled by a Terrell Bell 3-pointer.
With Virginia Tech up 59-55 and Cassell Coliseum rocking, the vibes of an upset started to set in.
Kyle Singler silenced the crowed after making a layup, but the crowd erupted again when Delaney sank a 3-pointer.
Delany had an off night shooting the ball, but his 3-pointer counted much more than the three points on paper. The senior guard finished the game with 11 points and seven rebounds. His 3-pointer might have given the Hokies an NCAA tournament bid.
Duke cut the game to two points after Mason Plumlee converted an open court dunk and hit a free throw on the next possession.
Jeff Allen scored the final two points of the game when he converted one of two free throws on back-to-back possessions.
Terrell Bell poked the ball away from Seth Curry on Duke’s last possession and Allen grabbed the loose ball with time running out.
Curry was not a factor inside the building his father used to call home. Curry battled foul trouble all game and was only on the court for 15 minutes. He scored zero points and only attempted two shots before fouling out.
By upsetting the defending national champions and the No. 1 ranked team, Virginia Tech now has a strong shot at making the big dance. With games against Boston College and Clemson left before the ACC tournament, the Hokies cannot afford to celebrate too long.
The Hokies know first-hand that beating the No. 1 team doesn’t automatically award you a bid into the NCAA tournament. Two years ago the Hokies upset No. 1 ranked Wake Forrest, but were still left scratching their heads on selection Sunday.