Virginia Tech keeps bowl streak alive with win over rival UVa


Virginia Tech keeps bowl streak alive with win over rival UVa

Virginia had a chance to snap Virginia Tech's 11-game winning streak in the Commonwealth Cup and their bowl streak, but managed neither as the Hokies prevailed 23-20. Here are the five big takeaways:

Close to the end: A Virginia Tech offense that struggled all day managed to do just enough to get Joey Slye into position to kick the game-winning 41-yard field goal with 1:38 remaining. Travon McMillian, who had only managed 53 yards on 18 carries up to that point, ran for 28 critical yards on six carries to set up the kick. Slye was a perfect three of three on the day.

Punch for punch: When one team struggled on offense, the other could not take advantage. When one team looked like they were on the verge of taking control, a critical mistake put the other team right back in it. Virginia finally broke into the endzone in the third quarter as running back Albert Reid ran through a tackle at the line of scrimmage and broke off a 57-yard touchdown run. Virginia Tech's best drive of the day to that point was for only 28 yards and yet, the Hokies responded with a big play of their own when tight end Ryan Malleck broke a tackle and went 71 yards to Virginia's 4-yard line. Two plays later, Brewer connected with Sam Rogers for the touchdown to tie the game at 13.

Virginia took a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter thanks to a 27-yard touchdown catch by star receiver Canaan Severin. Virginia Tech responded again with a 6-play, 75-yard drive to tie it when Isaiah Ford slipped past Virginia's coverage and caught a game-tying touchdown in the end zone. It was not a good day by any means for the Hokies offensively, but the offenes' ability to respond after every big play by Virginia set them up for the win.

3rd down struggles: Don't let the final stats fool you, this was a sluggish offensive performance for both teams. A major reason why was because neither side could convert on third down. Virginia converted three third downs on their first drive of the game, a drive that resulted in a field goal, but managed to move the sticks on only five of their remaining 15 third downs on the day. Virginia Tech was just plain bad from start to finish with three of 14 conversions.

Critical fake punt: With neither team managing much offense in the first half, Virginia held a 6-3 lead and elected to go for a fake punt on a fourth and 16 from their own 34-yard line. The Cavaliers' punt formation bunched to the right and Virginia Tech responded leaving nothing but grass to the left of punter Nicholas Conte. Conte took the snap and took off, but there's a reason he plays punter and not receiver. Despite having nothing but room in front of him, Tremaine Edmunds was able to catch him and bring him down just short giving the Hokies the ball on Virginia's 48. Virginia Tech was able to tack on a field goal to leave the game tied at halftime. Had Virginia punted, it's hard to imagine the Hokies could have managed to do anything with it before halftime considering how woeful the offense had looked up to that point.

What the win means: With the victory, Virginia Tech has now won 12 straight over Virginia. The win is also No. 6 for the Hokies, meaning you can throw out all the 5-7 scenarios, they are bowl eligible. Considering the attention Beamer's last game will bring, there will be plenty of interest in Virginia Tech among the bowls. On the other side of the coin, the loss leaves Mike London in a shaky position. In his sixth season as head coach, Virginia will finish with a 4-8 record. London is 0-6 against his in-state rival and has lead the Cavs to a bowl only once. All eyes will be on Charlottesville this week to see if a change is coming.

RELATED: Report: Virginia Tech to name Fuente as next head coach

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


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.


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


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.


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."