NCAA

Defense travels in unbelievable performance for Hokies over ranked NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Defense travels in unbelievable performance for Hokies over ranked NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Kerry Blackshear had 13 points and 13 rebounds Saturday to help No. 12 Virginia Tech beat No. 23 North Carolina State 47-24 in the Wolfpack's lowest-scoring output of the shot-clock era.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 11 points for the Hokies (18-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led the entire way despite playing without point guard Justin Robinson. Virginia Tech didn't put up huge numbers, shooting just 36 percent and making 7 of 21 3-pointers.

Then again, Virginia Tech didn't need much production against the cold-cold-cold-shooting Wolfpack (16-6, 4-5).

N.C. State made just 9 of 54 shots for the game, a conversion rate of 16.7 percent that included a 2-for-28 showing from 3-point range. It was N.C. State's lowest scoring output in any game since managing 12 points in a win against Duke in the 1968 ACC Tournament, nearly two decades before the implementation of the shot clock.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: The Hokies' already-limited numbers were further depleted by Robinson's absence. The senior came in averaging 14.4 points but left early from Wednesday's win at Miami with an injury, then showed up in Raleigh sporting protective boot on his left foot. But Blackshear led the way, while the Hokies got some balance — even of the low-scoring variety — from Wabissa Bede (nine points) and Ahmed Hill (nine points) against the inept Wolfpack.

N.C. State: Kevin Keatts' team never gave itself a chance Saturday with its complete inability to accomplish the most basic element in the game — putting the ball in the basket. N.C. State made 1 of 17 shots to start the game and its first 11 3-point tries in a performance that stupefied its normally rowdy home crowd. Underling all that trouble was sophomore guard Braxton Beverly. A week to the day after hitting the buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Clemson on this court, he went 0 for 12 overall and 0 for 9 from behind the arc.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: The Hokies host No. 15 Louisville on Tuesday night.

N.C. State: A demanding three-game stretch ends Tuesday at No. 9 North Carolina.

5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Ohio State vs. Penn State

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5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Ohio State vs. Penn State

The Big Ten East will likely be decided on Saturday as Ohio State hosts Penn State (12 p.m., FOX). The Buckeyes look like one of if not the best team in the nation and are projected to have a non-stop ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Nittany Lions have one loss, but an upset over Ohio State will jump them right back into playoff contention.

As two of the top teams in the nation, both boast a boatload of NFL talent on their rosters. 

Here are the players you should be watching in Saturday's matchup.

DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Young returns from a two-game suspension which means the most dominant player in college football is going to be well-rested and angry. He already has 13.5 sacks and ranks second in the nation despite being suspended the past two games. Those two games were against Maryland and Rutgers so you can bet he would have padded his stats quite a bit in those two games. This season, he has 29 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss,  five forced fumbles and even a blocked kick.

Young is the best pass rusher in the draft and will go in the top-five, probably top-two. He is a real possibility for the Redskins given how high they will likely be drafting.

See where Young is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

In addition to the draft's best pass rusher, Saturday's game will also feature its top cornerback in Okudah. Okudah is the total package for a cornerback. He is a true shutdown corner who almost looks like he is running a receiver's routes with him, not simply reacting to their movements.

Okudah can completely change a secondary and seems like a lock to go in the top10 of the draft. The Redskins will be too high to get Okudah and the Ravens will likely be too low. If either has a chance to take him, whether it's the Ravens with their first pick or the Redskins with their second, they should absolutely jump at the chance, especially the Redskins given that their secondary is atrocious.

See where Okudah is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

Gross-Matos has been climbing the draft boards after a breakout sophomore season in which he blew apart opposing lines with a whopping 54 tackles, 20 for a loss and eight sacks. He has really good size at 6-foot-5 which comes with some big arms which he uses to initiate contact and work blockers. He has more penetration skills than a lot of edge rushers and sometimes comes from the interior at Penn State.  He is not the kind of lineman who needs to get a good jump and get around a block, he can go around you or through you.

Gross-Matos is projected to be a late first-round pick. He could fall to the Ravens or perhaps even fall to the start of the second round and be possible for Washington. If they already have Young at that point, it is unlikely they take a second pass-rusher, but if the Redskins lose out on Young and Gross-Matos is still on the board, this looks like a real possibility.

See where Gross-Matos is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State

Terry McLaurin sure steems to have worked out for the Redskins so why not look for another Buckeye receiver as another weapon for Dwayne Haskins or for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore?

In terms of catching the ball, there may not be a better receiver in the draft. Hill knows how to haul in tough catches and can be a very dependable receiver. That doesn't mean quarterbacks can give him too many jump balls, however. While he could certainly go up and make those grabs, at 6 feet tall he gives the height advantage to most of the cornerbacks he plays against. Still, his hands are second to none and his speed is outstanding.

RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Dobbins is one of the most dominant running backs in the country and is averaging 7.04 yards per carry. That's against Big Ten competition, where defense still matters.

Mark Ingram has had a great season for Baltimore, but he turns 30 in December so his shelf life may be limited. The Redskins, meanwhile are led by the 34-year-old Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice who has already suffered two significant injuries in his short NFL career. 

The quality of running back Dobbins appears to be would make him hard for either the Ravens or Redskins to pass up if he is available to them.

Other potential NFL prospects to watch:

CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
TE Rashod Berry, Ohio State
OL Brandon Bowen, Ohio State
P Drue Chrisman, Ohio State
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State
S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
P Blake Gillikin, Penn State
WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State
G Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
WR Juwan Johnson, Penn State
CB John Reid, Penn State
WR Binjimen Victor, Ohio State
DT Robert Windsor, Penn State

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Ewing wins big again at MSG, Hoyas knock off No. 22 Texas

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Ewing wins big again at MSG, Hoyas knock off No. 22 Texas

Mac McClung scored 19 points to help give coach Patrick Ewing another signature moment at Madison Square Garden, leading Georgetown to an 82-66 victory over No. 22 Texas on Thursday night.

The Hoyas (4-1) used a 12-0 run early in the second half that rallied the crowd and had "Let's go Hoyas!" chants echoing throughout the arena. With his retired No. 33 New York Knicks jersey hanging in the rafters, Ewing helped orchestrate another wild one at his favorite arena.

The Hoyas are trying to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2015 and an early win over a Top 25 team could give that resume a boost.

Ewing walked on the court and waved his arms to implore the crowd to get louder in the waning moments.

That pose is a familiar sight around New York.

Ewing's image is plastered inside and out at the Garden where he forged a Hall of Fame career. The most popular photo in the arena in one with his arms outstretched and his back toward the camera from the May 22, 1994, Game 7 win over the Chicago Bulls in the conference semis. His game-worn jersey and sneakers are encased in glass on the concourse. There's photo of Ewing outside the Garden with his name in bold and the quote, "I always will be a Knick. And I will always be a New Yorker."

The Knicks tweeted a photo montage of Ewing with the Hoyas and Knicks and wrote, "Pat comes full circle."

New Yorkers and Georgetown fans haven't forgotten the big man: Ewing walked off the court hugging and high-fiving fans on his way to the locker room.

Matt Coleman made all six 3-pointers and scored 22 points for the Longhorns (4-1). Texas lost with former Longhorn and injured Nets center Kevin Durant watching courtside. Former Longhorn and Nets center Jarrett Allen also rooted on Texas from a courtside seat.

Texas moved into the Top 25 this week at No. 22 with wins over California Baptist and Prairie View. The Longhorns are ranked for the first time this season and for the first time since November 2018.

The Hoyas made the charge to open the second half kept the pressure on to advance to the title game of the four-team tournament.

Ewing had beckoned Qudus Wahab up from the bench for a late first-half pep talk. Ewing had a few things to say to his 6-foot-11 freshman center and they ended the conversation with a fist bump.

Ewing's motivation eventually worked on his big man. Wahab had a thunderous dunk for a 54-52 lead and the active Hoyas defensive forced another turnover under Texas' basket. Ewing waved on the fast-break like a third base coach sending a runner home, and Terrell Allen scored to get the Garden fans up and going wild for the momentum shift. Ewing pumped his fist and the Hoyas were pushing for an upset.

The Longhorns shot only 37 percent from the floor and had 12 turnovers.

Jamorko Pickett scored 15 points and James Akinjo had 14 for the Hoyas.

BIG PICTURE

Georgetown: Former Hoyas star Alonzo Mourning was at the game to watch them knock off a ranked team for the third time under Ewing.

Texas: The Longhorns are sure to fall out of the Top 25 and now have to win a consolation game to salvage something out of their trip to New York.

UP NEXT

The Hoyas play the winner of No. 1 Duke vs. Cal on Friday in the 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project championship. Texas gets the loser of that game.

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