Hokie heartbreak: Tip in at last second misses, Virginia Tech falls to Duke 75-73

APTOPIX NCAA Virginia Tech Duke Basketball_1553919653123

Duke guard Tre Jones (3) reacts after scoring against Virginia Tech during the second half of an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament East Region semifinal in Washington, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Latest on the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

12:05 a.m.

Duke has survived again in the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 1 overall seed held off Virginia Tech 75-73 in the East Region semifinals, earning a trip to the Elite Eight to face Michigan State. The Blue Devils had to survive a wild final possession for the Hokies, who missed two 3-pointers for the lead then had Ahmed Hill miss a short putaway on a perfectly executed inbounds lob to the lane to end it.

Duke had already survived UCF missing two attempts for the win in a one-point win in the second round last weekend. The Blue Devils also won games against Wake Forest and North Carolina this year by surviving final-play shots each time.

Zion Williamson scored a game-high 23 points, while fellow freshman Tre Jones scores a career-high 22 points with five 3-pointers to compensate for the absence of starter Cam Reddish due to a knee injury.

Kerry Blackshear had 18 points to lead the fourth-seeded Hokies.


Houston won’t go away in the Midwest Region semifinal in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kentucky is holding a 47-41 at the under-8 media timeout after being up by 13 points early in the second half.

Armoni Brooks’ 3-pointer cut the lead to 45-41, and Corey Davis Jr. missed on a chance to make it a one-possession game when he missed from distance two possessions later.

Tyler Herro’s baseline jumper got the lead back to six. He leads the Wildcats with 14 points.

Brooks leads Houston with 11 points. The winner plays fifth-seeded Auburn, who took down No. 1 seed North Carolina.


11:05 p.m.

Kentucky leads Houston 37-26 at halftime of their Midwest Region semifinal, with PJ Washington returning from injury to score 8 points and give the Wildcats a big advantage inside.

Tyler Herro also has 8 points and has mostly shut down Houston’s Corey Davis Jr., who has 5 points on 1-of-5 shooting after averaging 23.5 points in the Cougars’ first two NCAA Tournament games.

The Wildcats closed the half on an 8-2 spurt to build their lead. They’re shooting 58.8 percent against the nation’s top field-goal percentage defense.

Reid Travis has 4 points and five rebounds to help the Wildcats to a 17-7 advantage on the boards.

Galen Robinson has scored 8 for the Cougars.


10:50 p.m.

Kentucky has opened a 30-20 lead on Houston late in the first half of the Midwest Region semifinals.

The Wildcats, who have run off 7 straight points, have been fueled Friday night by the return of forward PJ Washington.

Washington, out since the SEC Tournament with a left foot sprain, entered the game at the first media timeout to a standing ovation from fans behind the Kentucky bench. He’s made all three of his shots and leads the Wildcats with 8 points.

Houston’s Corey Davis Jr., averaging 23.5 points in the first two games of the tournament, has been held to one point with Kentucky’s Tyler Herro limiting his opportunities.


10:40 p.m.

Virginia Tech is halfway to upsetting top overall seed Duke.

The Hokies lead 38-34 at halftime of the East Region semifinals after hitting seven 3-pointers, with Ahmed Hill scoring 13 points and nearly making a running shot from near halfcourt at the horn. Wabissa Bede added 10 for the Hokies, who shot 45 percent.

Duke freshman point guard Tre Jones has 12 points to lead the Blue Devils, while star freshman Zion Williamson has 11 points. Duke is shooting 52 percent but went without a basket for the last 3:29 of the half.

Virginia Tech won the only regular-season meeting, though Williamson and Hokies point guard Justin Robinson didn’t play in that one. The Hokies led this one by as many as six in the first half.

Duke freshman starter Cam Reddish has yet to play in this one due to a knee issue.

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