NCAA Tournament Virginia Tech Hokies vs Alabama Crimson Tide Start Time, Odds

Kansas&apos Marcus Garrett gets past Kansas State's Amaad Wainright to put up a shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City Mo. Friday

After starting the game 1 of 5 from the floor, the five-star freshman scored 22 second-half points to lead the No. 9 seed Alabama to an 86-83 win over No. 8 seed Virginia Tech. It marks Alabama's first win in the NCAA Tournament since 2006.

Petty finished with 20 points on 6-of-8 from 3-point range, while Sexton continued his strong postseason play with his 15th consecutive double-digit scoring effort to secure Alabama's first NCAA Tournament win in 12 years. Junior Donta Hall finished with 10 points on a ideal 5-of-5 shooting from the floor and sophomore Dazon Ingram had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win. Alabama will play Villanova, the East Regional's top seed, on Saturday.

It was over when: Dazon Ingram hit one of two free throws to give Alabama an 86-79 lead with 17.9 seconds remaining, too big a hole for Virginia Tech to climb out of. Both guards shoot better than 50 percent from beyond the arc.

"I thought tonight was a great - a great game", said Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams. They are trying to end a two game losing streak as they are coming off a loss last week in the second round of the ACC tournament. Alabama does have some size though even if Hall is out, but it's a little more unproven led by Daniel Giddens who only averaged 13.3 minutes per game this season.

Alabama was led, as usual, by its star point guard Collin Sexton.

The forward scored 10 points on 5-5 shooting, and provided a nice boost for Alabama. Along with Virginia, the teams they've beaten include No. 9 Duke (64-63) and No. 20 Clemson (65-58), both of which finished in the Top 25.

In-state foes like the Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies and the Radford Highlanders are all dancing in this year's march madness.

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The Hokies need to get the job done at the free-throw line as a team that likes to attack the rim and therefore, draw some fouls.

Williams had tinkered with his team's defensive approach after giving up 84 points to Miami in a loss February 3, and it paid off with low-scoring wins over Clemson, Virginia and Duke over the final month of the season.

Robinson led the way with 19 points but fouled out in the closing minutes, while senior guard Justin Bibbs added 17 points and freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 15 points. Alabama obviously needs Sexton to score, but it's more important that he's aggressively trying to get inside and take shots around the rim.

The Crimson Tide would go up to 10 points or 12, and Southern would gather itself and come back for more. But he has the talent to be a game-breaking presence against any team in the country, and the Wildcats are a significant test.

The one seed Virginia Cavaliers will face the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Friday at 9:20 p.m.

"We had to be able to hit the first shot", Pugh said.

Last season, ninth-seeded Virginia Tech lost to eighth-seeded Wisconsin 84-74.

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