NCAA

Navy, Virginia Tech among teams in second-to-last CFP rankings

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Navy, Virginia Tech among teams in second-to-last CFP rankings

BY KEVIN CONNELL

Blowout victories helped Navy and Virginia Tech find their way into the second-to-last College Football Playoff rankings of the season released Tuesday.

Navy (9-2) was ranked No. 19 after beating SMU 75-31 Saturday, while Virginia Tech (9-3) sat at No. 23 following a 52-10 win against Virginia.

For the Hokies, it’s the third time in five weeks they have placed in the College Football Playoff rankings. Two weeks ago, they dropped out after ranking as high as No. 14 after the first two weeks of the rankings.

The Midshipmen, then at No. 25, were ranked for the first time last week.

Both Navy and Virginia Tech will play in their conference championship games this week. The Midshipmen host the AAC Championship Game against Temple in Annapolis and the Hokies play No. 3 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando.

Additionally, the Midshipmen and Hokies will play in bowl games, which will be announced no later than this Sunday when the final College Football Playoff rankings are released. The top four after the final week of rankings will play in a four-team playoff to determine the national champion.

Along with Clemson, Alabama at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2 and Washington at No. 4 make up the current top four. The Crimson Tide is the defending national champions and the Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014.

In the most recent AP and coaches polls released Sunday, Virginia Tech was No. 19 (AP) and No. 18 (coaches), while Navy was No. 20 in both.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Washington

5. Michigan

6. Wisconsin

7. Penn State

8. Colorado

9. Oklahoma

10. Oklahoma State

11. USC

12. Florida State

13. Louisville

14. Auburn

15. Florida

16. West Virginia

17. Western Michigan

18. Stanford

19. Navy

20. Utah

21. LSU

22. Tennessee

23. Virginia Tech

24. Houston

25. Pittsburgh

MORE NCAA: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION (UPDATED 11/28/2016)

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

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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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Hyland scores 21 to lead VCU past St. Bonaventure

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Hyland scores 21 to lead VCU past St. Bonaventure

Nah'Shon Hyland had a season-high 21 points as VCU easily beat Saint Bonaventure 91-63 on Saturday.

Hyland hit 5 of 6 3-pointers. He added eight rebounds.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 17 points and 11 rebounds for VCU (13-5, 3-2 Atlantic 10 Conference). Issac Vann added 10 points. Corey Douglas had seven rebounds.

VCU dominated the first half and led 52-24 at the break. The Rams' 52 first-half points marked a season best for the team.

Justin Winston had 17 points for the Bonnies (12-6, 4-1), whose four-game win streak was broken. Jaren English added 15 points. Dominick Welch had seven rebounds.

VCU takes on Saint Joseph's on the road on Tuesday. Saint Bonaventure plays Dayton on the road on Wednesday.

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