The Virginia Tech basketball team lost to 7-seed Florida Gators in a tight matchup to start March Madness.
A competitive, back-and-forth matchup ended in heartbreak for this Hokies team. They gave it their all until the very end, they fought hard. It was one heck of an effort that ultimately fell short.
Virginia Tech got off to a good start, building up a five-point lead heading into the half, 33-27. They shut down Florida on the offensive side fairly well in the half.
It was in the second half that Florida seemed to find their footing a bit. Colin Castleton and Tre Mann took over for Florida but the Hokies weren’t going to go away easily. Mann would ultimately hit the three that would win the game for the Gators.
Virginia Tech was able to tie the game with a three at the end of regulation but in overtime, they fell just short. Florida came away with a 75-70 win and will face 15-seed Oral Roberts in the second round.
It was going to be tough to come away with a win in overtime without Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts who both fouled in the OT period.
We can’t talk about this game and not discuss Nahiem Alleyne. Wow. He played lights out for this team today and gave it his all. It feels like an understatement to say that Alleyne had himself a career day. He ended the day with a career-high and team-leading, 28 points. He also had the most important basket of the day for the Hokies, the three-pointer that sent the game to overtime.
Let’s face it, this team wasn’t supposed to be in this position. At the beginning of the season, nobody expected this Virginia Tech team to make it into the NCAA Tournament. We also can’t forget that they were picked to finish eleventh in the ACC. These Hokies came out and proved everyone wrong this season and boy was it fun to watch.
It’s easy to forget that this is just Mike Young’s second year with the program, he’s just getting started. He was the best hire for this program and this team is going to be fun to watch for many years to come.
A tough loss makes it hard to look on the bright side but these Hokies are going to be a force next season, believe that.
The future is bright.