PITTSBURGH — Alabama basketball will face Virginia Tech in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 at approximately 8:20 p.m. CT (9:20 p.m. ET) at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
The Crimson Tide (19-15) earned the No. 9 seed in the East Region as an at-large selection, while the Hokies (21-11), who were also chosen at-large, earned the No. 8 seed. TNT will televise the game.
Alabama advanced to its first NCAA Tournament since 2012 with its selection on Sunday. It marks the Crimson Tide’s 20th NCAA appearance in school history, but it’s just the second showing since 2006. Alabama made five consecutive tournaments from 2002-06.
2018 NCAA Tournament: Alabama basketball live updates
- Alabama 81, Virginia Tech 77 with 38.6 left. Alabama just needs to not turn the ball over and make its free throws to close this one out.
- Alabama 78, Virginia Tech 74 with 59.6 left. Pretty much every key player for Alabama has four fouls at this point.
- Alabama 70, Virginia Tech 66 with 4:02 left. It all comes down to this. Alabama has to take care of the ball, and lock in on defense to continue its season.
- Alabama is slowly trying to build a lead. Crimson Tide leads 68-64 with 6:43 left. Both teams will shoot free throws the rest of the way.
- With 7:30 left, Alabama is clinging to a 65-64 lead after a Herbert Jones layup put the Crimson Tide back on top.
- Avery Johnson Jr. has given Alabama some huge minutes off the bench. He’s knocked down tough shots and has 7 points.
- This has been a great game so far. Both teams are trading blows and knocking down big shots. This is March. Game is tied at 57 with 11:12 left.
- Collin Sexton is starting to come alive for Alabama. He has 9 points and 5 assists.
- John Petty has been on fire tonight. He’s made 5 threes to this point. His 17 points are a team high for Alabama.
- With Dazon Ingram and Braxton Key both having four fouls, Alabama went to an all-freshman lineup at the 14:45 mark. The group quickly tied the game at 52 behind a 3 and two free throws from John Petty.
- Dazon Ingram picked up his fourth foul early in the second. Braxton Key has 3 foul. That’s big going forward. Virginia Tech 46, Alabama 45 with 15:59 left.
First half box score:
- A quick breakdown: Alabama isn’t really playing bad on defense. Virginia Tech is just making everything. There have been a few open shots, but the Hokies knocked down contested threes and made some tough layups through contact when they got to the rim. Virginia Tech shot 68 percent from the floor, and 78 percent from 3.
- John Petty drilled a huge three to end the half to cut Virginia Tech’s lead to 43-41. Petty finished the half with 9 points and was 3-3 from three-point range. Alabama is in a good spot considering Collin Sexton only scored 3 points in 14 minutes of action. Sexton did have 4 assists.
- Alabama is playing about as well as you could hope and the Tide is still down 41-38 with 1:28 left in the first half because Virginia Tech is making everything. The Hokies are shooting 70 percent from the floor, and 78 percent from 3. That’s insane.
- John Petty doing a little bit of everything so far. Just knocked down a 3 to give Alabama a 36-34 lead with 3:14 left. Before that, Petty found Galin Smith for an easy dunk. Petty has hit both of his 3s which is a good sign. Virginia Tech hasn’t scored in 2:45.
- The pace is still really high. Virginia Tech leads 29-27 with 7:20 left. The Hokies are shooting over 70 percent from the floor.
- Collin Sexton checked back in with 8 minutes left.
- Something to watch with 12 minutes to go: Collin Sexton picked up his second foul on a charge call.
- At the first media timeout, Alabama is down 15-12. The pace is crazy and both teams are shooting the ball well. We’ll see if this keeps up. A good sign for Alabama is Donta Hall is playing and playing well early. He has a couple of dunks. Alabama is 5-of-6 from the floor early.
- Forward Donta Hall (concussion) will play and start vs. Virginia Tech. Hall suffered a concussion last Friday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament against Auburn. He missed the semifinal game against Kentucky.
- Hall joins Collin Sexton, Herbert Jones, Dazon Ingram and Braxton Key in the starting lineup. This is Alabama’s best lineup in my opinion.
2018 NCAA Tournament: Alabama basketball-Virginia Tech game time
Alabama basketball will take on Virginia Tech at approximately 9:20 p.m. ET. The game will be 30 minutes following the Villanova/Radford game. The game will be played in Pittsburgh.
2018 NCAA Tournament: Alabama basketball-Virginia Tech TV channel
- The first-round game on Thursday will air on TNT with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson on the call.
- The radio broadcast can be found on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call, with the pregame show beginning at 7 p.m. CT on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
2018 NCAA Tournament: Alabama basketball-Virginia Tech how to watch online
You can watch the Alabama basketball-Virginia Tech NCAA Tournament game using the NCAA March Madness app, which you can find by click here.
2018 NCAA Tournament: Alabama basketball-Virginia Tech preview
- This matchup will mark the 15th meeting between Alabama and Virginia Tech with the Crimson Tide leading the all-time series 9-5. However, it will be the first meeting between the programs since 1989.
- Alabama reached the 1987 Sweet 16, which was later vacated, along with its 2-1 record in that tournament because of an NCAA violation. With that honor removed, Alabama has made seven Sweet 16 appearances in program history, with the last coming in 2004. That was the same year that the Tide made its lone Elite 8 showing.
- Alabama is 7-10 in games away from Tuscaloosa this season and holds a 5-2 mark in neutral-site contests.
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