For the second time this season, Virginia Tech fought tooth and nail with Duke, but fell 60-56 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
It was not the best offensive performance by either team. Duke was just 5-of-26 (19.2%) from three-point range, while Virginia Tech shot just 30.2% from the field and Erick Green was only 3-of-16. Green went 9-of-9 from the free throw line to finish with 16 points, but overall it wasn’t his night offensively.
Robert Brown had a big game for the Hokies, and hopefully that will help his confidence heading into next season. Brown had 16 points, going 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range. He also led the team with six rebounds in 22 minutes.
Dorian Finney-Smith had seven points and 12 rebounds for Virginia Tech. The Hokies outrebounded Duke 38-37 and pulled down 14 offensive rebounds. However, they missed numerous point blank looks, particularly in the first half, and only converted their 14 offensive rebounds into seven second chance points. Tech had four offensive rebounds on their first possession, but failed to score.
Cadarian Raines had six points and five rebounds, as Duke made it a focus to deny him the ball. Dorenzo Hudson had six points in his final game as a Hokie.
The Hokies trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, and were down 50-40 with 5:10 left. However, Robert Brown scored six points in the next four minutes, while Erick Green added five free throws to rally their team. Tech trailed just 55-51 with 24 seconds left, and had a chance to make it a one possession game, but Erick Green’s jumper was no good.
Overall, Virginia Tech played their best basketball of the season in the ACC Tournament, particularly on the defensive end. After holding Clemson to just 41.5% on Thursday night, the well-rested Blue Devils were only 37% on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Hokies just didn’t have the horses to pull the upset and advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in school history.
Barring an unlikely bid to the NIT, Virginia Tech’s season is over. The Hokies finished 16-17, and next year they bring back seven of the eight players who saw action in the ACC Tournament.