The Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Duke Blue Devils 82-67 to win the ACC Tournament. Your Virginia Tech Hokies are ACC champions for the first time in school history. It’s Tech’s first conference championship since 1979, when the Hokies were members of the old Metro Conference.
Much like in the previous two wins over Notre Dame and North Carolina, the outcome of this game was never truly in doubt. Tech started hot, but the Duke came back. The Hokies again got hot before the half, going into the break with a 42-39 lead.
The second half was a completely different story. The Hokies crashed the boards, got every loose ball, hit big-time shots, defended well, made their free throws, etc. Virginia Tech was the better team.
It was a night to remember for guard Hunter Cattoor. Cattoor entered ACC Tournament legend status by scoring 31 points and winning the tournament MVP. Cattoor made 11 of 16 shots, including seven of nine from 3-point range. As a team, the Hokies shot 50% from the field and made 10 of 22 from beyond the arc.
Tech’s defense was outstanding, too. The Blue Devils shot 20% from 3-point range. Duke’s only consistent offensive performer was talented freshman Paolo Banchero, who scored 20 points.
In every aspect of this game, the Hokies dominated. This game presented several first, including the Hokies becoming the first No. 7 seed to win the ACC Tournament. Another impressive feat was defeating the top three seeds in the tournament en route to the championship. Virginia Tech didn’t just win these games; the Hokies won convincingly by defeating the top two programs in the ACC with ease.
No more Joe Lunardi telling the Hokies they aren’t good enough for the Field of 68. The Hokies punched that ticket Saturday night.
Keve Aluma scored 19 points and led the Hokies with 10 rebounds. As a team, the Hokies dominated the boards, 37-26. Tech was terrific on the offensive glass, finishing with 13 offensive rebounds.
Now, we wait to see where the Hokies will be seeded when the NCAA Tournament field is announced Sunday evening.
Goodnight from Brooklyn — the Hokies are ACC champs.