NCAA

Virginia survives triple-OT thriller: 5 takeaways

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Virginia survives triple-OT thriller: 5 takeaways

The first ACC matchup between Virginia and Syracuse was one to remember as the Cavaliers put together a critical fourth-quarter drive to setup a game-tying field goal and force overtime. Both teams traded punches in overtime until Virginia walked away with the 44-38 win.

Here are five takeaways from UVa's first ACC win of the season:

The drive: Down by 3 in the fourth quarter, Virginia put together their best drive of the season thanks to some timely plays and a little luck.

Facing a 3rd and 15, Virginia was given a first down thanks to a face mask penalty. On 4th and 3, Johns dumped the ball off to Taquan Mizzell who weaved his way 11 yards for the first down. In all, Virginia drove 88 yards in 18 plays to setup a game-tying 25-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime.

Slow start: Virginia's fourth quarter drive was made all the more remarkable by the offense's horrific start to the game. The Cavaliers had nine yards in the first quarter and did not get a first down until about four minutes in to the second. Two plays after they did register a first down, Syracuse returned a Mizzell fumble 44 yards for a touchdown.

In their first four drives, Virginia had 26 yards, one first down and no points. Who would have expected them to be able to pull off that tremendous fourth-quarter comeback?

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Goal line stand: While things were ugly for the offense early, Virginia's defense did not allow Syracuse to take advantage thanks in large part to a key goal line stand to close out the end of the first quarter.

Syracuse had a 1st and goal at Virginia's 2-yard line, but the Cavaliers forced a nine-yard loss on the play. Dontae Strickland took it back down to the goal line on second down, but the Cavaliers stuffed two runs from their own 1 to force a turnover on downs and keep the Orange off the board.

Fake punt fakes out UVa: Fake punts are nothing new for Syracuse's Riley Dixon. The only thing that was surprising when he took off for a first down on a fake punt against Virginia was how much it seemed to catch the Cavaliers off guard.

Dixon threw a game-winning touchdown pass on a fake field goal in Syracuse's season opener last year and also added a 42 -yard fake punt run against Notre Dame. He made highlight reels across the nation for hurdling an LSU cornerback earlier in the season and Saturday was the third-straight game in which he ran a fake punt.

So, when Dixon took the field on a 4th and 4 on Syracuse's 44-yard line with 2:49 remaining in the first half, why oh why did Virginia look lost when Dixon pulled the ball in and took it 15 yards for the first down?

Syracuse was able to take the ball the remaining 42 yards for the touchdown just six plays later. In what became a very close game, these kind of plays can make all the difference between winning and losing. The key to a successful fake punt is surprise. At his point, how could anyone be surprised by the fake from Syracuse?

Leap of faith: One of the plays of the year took place in this game and it is one that safety Quin Blanding would like to forget.

After an interception put the Orange on Virginia's 26-yard line, quarterback Eric Dungey took off for the end zone. The last man in his way was Blanding, one of the best tacklers in the ACC. Rather than trying to run around him or through him, Dungey instead decided to hurdle over the 6-foot-2 sophomore on his way for the touchdown.

It may have come at the expense of the Cavaliers, but one couldn't help but be impressed at the athleticism of the freshman quarterback.

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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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.

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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.