NCAA

Navy breaks into latest College Football Playoff rankings

Navy breaks into latest College Football Playoff rankings

BY TYLER BYRUM

Navy jumped into the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.

The team is ranked No. 25 after the Midshipmen's dominant 66-31 win over East Carolina this past weekend, extending the team's winning streak to three games. With the win, Navy (8-2, 6-1 AAC) won the AAC West Division title and will compete in the AAC Championship the first weekend of December. 

The Midshipmen were not ranked in either the lastest AP poll or the USA Today coaches poll released Sunday. This is Navy's first appearance in the College Football Playoff Rankings this season. 

Navy has two regular-season games remaining on their schedule, against SMU on Nov. 26 and Army on Dec. 12. The AAC Championship will be on Dec. 3, where Navy will either take on South Florida or Temple. 

The top four in the playoff rankings have remained the same this week with all four teams emerging victorious this past weekend. Alabama came in at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson.

Virginia Tech was ranked in the first two College Football Playoff rankings but dropped out of it last week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Michigan

4. Clemson

5. Washington

6. Wisconsin

7. Penn State

8. Oklahoma

9. Colorado

10. Oklahoma State 

11. Louisville

12. USC

13. Auburn

14. Florida State

15. Florida 

16. Nebraska

17. Tennessee

18. West Virginia

19. Boise State

20. Houston 

21. Western Michigan

22. Utah

23. Washington State

24. Stanford

25. Navy

MORE NCAA: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION (UPDATED 11/21/2016)

Wolfpack overcomes 10-minute scoring drought to top Virginia

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Wolfpack overcomes 10-minute scoring drought to top Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- North Carolina State took a page from the book Virginia used to win a national championship last season and used it against the Cavaliers.

The Wolfpack overcame a second-half drought of more than 10 minutes on Monday night and recovered just in time for a 53-51 victory over the Cavaliers.

D.J. Funderburk scored 14 points before fouling out and C.J. Bryce added 13 points for N.C. State (14-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), including a jumper with 27 seconds left after allowing the shot clock to race to near 0:00. The victory ended an eight-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.

"This is the second game in a row where I thought our guys stepped up and won the game on the defensive end," Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said.

It took plenty of patience, Bryce and fellow guard Markell Johnson said.

"We were stuck at 42 for the longest time," Johnson said of the drought that lasted from a basket with 13:51 left until Jericole Hellems' 3-pointer with 3:38 left. "I just tried to do whatever I could to get the lead and then C.J. hit a great shot and took it from there."

Johnson and Bryce each played nearly 38 minutes.

"We did a really good job of keeping our composure and staying patient and it worked out for us." Bryce said.

Virginia (12-6, 4-4) had used a 15-0 run during the N.C. State drought that lasted 10:13 to take a 46-42 lead, bringing the crowd at John Paul Jones Arena back into the game. Hellems' 3-pointer ended N.C. State' skid, and, after a free throw by Mamadi Diakite for Virginia, Johnson hit a 3-pointer and then Hellems followed two Virginia misses with a putback that gave the Wolfpack a 50-47 lead.

Johnson and Bryce both missed the front end of one-and-one free throw opportunities, and Kihei Clark hit a pair for Virginia. Braxton Beverly made the first and missed the second for the Wolfpack with 7.2 seconds left, and the Cavaliers Casey Morsell was short on a contested 3 at the buzzer.

"They made a couple plays,. That's what you have to do down the stretch to win," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said after his team's third home loss of the season, which is more than the two they had the last two seasons combined.

Clark led Virginia with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Wolfpack had used an 8-0 run to go ahead 42-31. Virginia helped out by going scoreless for more than 6 1/2 minutes. Francisco Caffaro, who had just been inserted into the game, ended the drought with 11:13 left, sparking Virginia's run.

BIG PICTURE

N.C. State: The Wolfpack seemed on their way to a solid victory until the drought, during which they were 1 for 8 from the field with five turnovers and repeatedly let the shot clock run down into single digits, forcing bad shots. ... NC State also played without 6-foot-11 ACC shot-blocking leader Manny Bates (2.94), who is in the concussion protocol, and forward Pat Andree (ankle). Keatts said he didn't know is Bates will be available come Saturday.

Virginia: In the Cavaliers' continuing search for scoring help, freshman Casey Morsell had as many as three field goals for the first time since a 65-56 victory against Navy on Dec. 29. He was 4 for 20 from the field in his last five games. He finished the night 4 for 9 and his buzzer-beater attempt was closely guarded. Morsell said he was trying to get the ball to Clark but when he couldn't find him quickly, "time was ticking so I had to let it go."

UP NEXT

The Wolfpack remains on the road and plays at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Cavaliers go on the road and play at Wake Forest on Sunday.

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Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

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USA Today Sports Images

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite scored 17 points apiece as defending national champion Virginia snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-58 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers (12-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) finally regained their winning touch after dropping out of The Associated Press ranking for the first time since November 2017.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 3-5) lost its fourth straight home game. The Yellow Jackets haven't won at McCamish Pavilion since a Dec. 4 victory over Nebraska. 

Diakite's dunk with 14:47 remaining gave Virginia its biggest lead, 43-29.

The Cavaliers were still up 48-37 with just over 10 minutes to go when Georgia Tech suddenly came to life offensively.

The Yellow Jackets scored on four of five possessions, stringing together a 9-0 run that cut Virginia's edge to 48-46.

That was as close as Georgia Tech would get.

Huff, a 7-foot-1 center, knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to thwart Georgia Tech's momentum. A few minutes later, he swished another open jumper to make it 55-48. 

Georgia Tech got a basket and a defensive stop, but Braxton Key swooped on for an offensive rebound to give the Cavaliers a second chance. With just over 2 minutes to go, Diakite was left open on the wing for a jumper that made it 57-50, effectively finishing off the Yellow Jackets.

Jose Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 20 points.

Virginia led 33-25 at halftime, taking advantage of the home team's sloppy play. The Yellow Jackets hit 11 of 18 shots (61.1%) but turned it over 13 times, wasting far too many possessions against the defensive-minded Cavaliers.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers picked up a desperately needed victory to avoid their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from Feb. 12-20, 2017. While still a far cry from their national championship squad, Virginia showed some offensive efficiency to go along with its always-tenacious defense. Key chipped in with 10 points. 

Georgia Tech: This is shaping up to be another disappointing season, raising more doubts about whether coach Josh Pastner can turn around a program that is approaching a decade since its last NCAA Tournament appearance. The Yellow Jackets continue to show flashes of promise, but Pastner has been unable to develop any sort of consistency in his fourth season. 

UP NEXT

Virginia: Returns home to play North Carolina State on Monday night. 

Georgia Tech: Hits the road for the first of two meetings against No. 11 Louisville. The teams will meet again in Atlanta on March 7, the final game of the regular season. 

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