NCAA

Bibbs hits 5 3's as Virginia Tech Hokies upset No. 7 Miami

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Bibbs hits 5 3's as Virginia Tech Hokies upset No. 7 Miami

By JIMMY ROBERTSON

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Friday evening's entertainment for several Virginia Tech players included watching the Miami-North Carolina game played Feb. 20 on YouTube.

The Tar Heels' 96-71 dismantling of the Hurricanes left the Hokies feeling inspired.

"We saw how Carolina just never let up," Virginia Tech forward Justin Bibbs said. "They kept punching them in the mouth. We wanted to do what they did. They (the Hurricanes) were in the game mostly the whole game against us. We just had to keep throwing blows at them and keep hitting them and that's what we did."

Bibbs threw his share of punches, scoring 19 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 77-62 victory over No. 7 Miami on Saturday.

Bibbs hit 7 of 10 from the floor, including five 3-pointers to lift the Hokies (18-13, 10-8 ACC) to their fifth straight win. Virginia Tech knocked off its second top-10 opponent of the season, having beaten then-No. 4 Virginia on Jan. 4.

Miami (24-6, 13-5 ACC), which had won three straight and eight of its past nine, could have assured itself a share of the ACC's regular-season crown with a win.

The Hokies led by 13 early in the second half before Miami used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 39-33 on a 3-pointer by Angel Rodriguez with 14:29 remaining. That was as close as Miami got.

The Hokies answered with their own 10-2 run, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Seth Allen and Zach LeDay to start the run.

"When you're playing any team, particularly a team as good as they are, they're going to go on a run," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "It's not really when a team is going on a run. The way to handle it is how are you going to respond to the run. I thought our response was really good."

Virginia Tech built the lead to as many as 19. Bibbs hit four of the Hokies' six second-half 3-pointers, helping them pull away. The Hokies shot 52.9 percent from both the floor (27 of 51) and beyond the 3-point arc (9 of 17).

"They defended us really well in the first half and I think we were a little too focused on what was at stake," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "We wanted it so badly - to win and to solidify that we would get at least a share of the conference regular-season championship.

"I told the team afterwards, `It's not about focusing on the result. It's focusing on the process. The process is playing good defense, rebounding, and executing the offensive game plan. We just didn't do that."

LeDay finished with 16 points for the Hokies, while Justin Robinson added 15 and Allen had 14.

Davon Reed paced Miami with 19 points, while Sheldon McClellan added 17.

QUOTE TO NOTE

"We were picked 14th - what do you think?" Williams said when asked if his team would keep its underdog mentality. "If you're picked 14th and finished sixth, what other mentality should we take? Without being a jerk, if you Google my story, you'll find that I'll always be able to answer that question that same way."

TIP-INS

Miami: The Hurricanes missed on a chance to break the school record for regular-season wins. . The Hurricanes scored on back-to-back possessions just once in the first half. . Came into the game ranked third in the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage (37 percent), but made just 4 of 24 for the game.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies have beaten two top-10 teams for the first time since sweeping North Carolina nine years ago. . This season marks the first time that Virginia Tech has beaten two ranked teams in six years. . The Hokies snapped a five-game losing streak to Miami. . LeDay scored in double figures for the 25th time this season. . LeDay hit at least two 3-pointers for the fifth time this season.

UP NEXT

Miami plays Thursday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Virginia Tech plays Wednesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

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USA TODAY Sports

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.

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Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."