Virginia could be No. 1 if it beats Virginia Tech

Virginia Cavaliers center Jack Salt knocks the ball away from Virginia Tech Hokies guard Justin Robinson during the first half at John Paul Jones Arena

Virginia could be No. 1 if it beats Virginia Tech

Kerry Blackshear Jr. turned an offensive rebound into a layup with five seconds on the clock to give Virginia Tech (18-7, 7-5) the lead and ultimately the win.

The Cavaliers were down by four points with under a minute to play in regulation, but sent the game to overtime with back-to-back baskets from sophomore Ty Jerome.

"We nearly stole that game but that's what it would have been ... stealing", said UVa coach Tony Bennett, whose Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) had won 15 games in a row since a December 5 loss at West Virginia.

The pack-line defense has shown very little holes, as opposing offenses have scored double-digits less than their single average and fail to find an answer for Virginia's lethal backcourt trio of Ty Jerome, Guy, and Devon Hall.

The Cavaliers seemed a likely new No. 1 after No. 1 Villanova lost this week to St. John's.

Now the Hokies are 6-5 in ACC play, good for seventh in the league and are coming off a 10-point win over North Carolina State.

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Virginia Tech also made 11 three-pointers and shot 43.1 percent for the game. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can either get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months, or $25 off your first month with promo code "YESNOW".

In the first meeting this season back in early January, Virginia held the Hokies to a season-low 52 points in a 26-point win in Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia's success this season can be attributed to the team's defense. One of them, Purdue, was playing at Michigan State, themselves a top-5 team, so that wasn't so much an upset. Virginia Tech has a lot to play for, as they want to make a push towards the postseason and a higher seed so they are not matched up against tougher foes early.

Hall, shooting 93.4 percent from the free-throw line for the year, missed the second of two free throws; then, after a 3-pointer by Tech's Nickeil Alexander-Walker cut the deficit to 60-59, Hall was fouled again.

BlackshearRobinson had a chance to put the Cavaliers in real trouble, but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 20.6 seconds left and the Hokies ahead 49-47. Blackshear finished with seven points, going 3 for 10 from the field and missing all six of his 3-point attempts, but that was all forgotten after his game-winner. It was the Hokies' best defensive field goal percentage allowed against an ACC opponent and Virginia's worst shooting night of the season.

The Hokies shot 57 percent overall (12-21) and 57 percent from 3-point range (8-14) in the first half, at one point reeling off 17 straight points to open a 22-13 lead.

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