For bubble teams, every game is a fight for your March Madness life. Thanks to Darius Maddox, Virginia Tech's men's basketball team lives to see another night.
Maddox sent the Hokies into the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament by hitting a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift Virginia Tech over Clemson in overtime on Wednesday. The clutch shot capped a wild back-and-forth contest that the Hokies desperately needed to keep their at-large hopes alive—especially after losing to the Tigers to end their regular season Saturday.
The Hokies led by nine with under four minutes to play in regulation, but Clemson ended the game on a 15–6 run and actually held the lead with under a minute to play after Hunter Tyson’s layup gave the Tigers a 64–63 lead. But Storm Murphy answered with a three-pointer on the next possession, followed by a jumper from PJ Hall to tie the game with eight seconds to play and force overtime.
Neither side held a lead of more than three points during the extra period, and Clemson missed two free throws in the final 30 seconds to keep Virginia Tech within striking distance.
Maddox is a 53.1% shooter from deep this season, the highest percentage in the nation among players who averaged at least one three-point attempt per game. He finished the game with eight points off the bench, while Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma led all players with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Virginia Tech is firmly on the bubble, per Sports Illustrated bracketologist Kevin Sweeney, so avoiding a second straight loss to a mediocre Clemson team was a must to keep its at-large bid hopes alive. The win gives the Hokies a shot at Notre Dame, currently projected as a No. 11 seed, making Thursday night’s quarterfinal matchup a crucial opportunity for the Hokies to boost their resume.
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