Texas beats Virginia Tech in the first round

MILWAUKEE — Andrew Jones scored 21 points, Marcus Carr defeated the halftime buzzer with a shot well past halfway to give Texas the final lead, and the Longhorns defeated Virginia Tech 81-73 on Friday for their first NCAA tournament win since 2014 .

The sixth-seeded Longhorns (22-11) advance to a second-round game in the east region on Sunday against third-seeded Purdue (28-7). The Boilermakers beat Yale 78-56 on Friday.

After Virginia Tech’s Storm Murphy made two first-half free throws with 2.1 seconds left to put the Hokies 32-31 ahead, Carr got about a third of the way onto the court before throwing a 3-pointer – brought in buzzers.

Carr had gone just a few steps past the 3-point arc at the opposite end of the floor and hadn’t even reached the “S” on the “March Madness” logo when he launched his shot.

Texas built on the momentum of that unlikely basket to lead at 17 by 5 1/2 minutes. Virginia Tech’s Hunter Cattoor sank a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to reduce Texas’ lead to 76-69, but the Hokies couldn’t get any closer.

Carr had 15 points and Timmy Allen added 14 and Texas went 10-of-19 from 3-point range while ending a five-game losing streak.

That’s exactly what the Longhorns wanted last year when they hired coach Chris Beard, a former Texas student manager who led Texas Tech to the 2019 national championship game.

Beard improved to 5-0 in games of the first round of the NCAA tournament. That record includes a game from 2016 in which he led a 12th-ranked Little Rock team to a double overtime win over Purdue.

Chris Beard reacts during Texas' win over Virginia Tech
Chris Beard reacts during Texas’ win over Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s Sean Padulla had 19 points, 13 of them in the last 4 1/2 minutes. Keve Aluma had 15 and Cattoor added 12 as Virginia Tech lost for the third time in 16 games. The 11th-seeded Hokies (23-13) had worked their way into the NCAA field by winning their first Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title last week.

Virginia Tech led for much of the first half but couldn’t keep up with the Longhorns after Carr’s big basket. The Hokies went 5 ½ minutes without a basket as Texas began to withdraw.

Carr found Christian Bishop for an inside basket with 11:18 left to give the Longhorns a 52-43 advantage, the largest lead for either team to that point. Carr sank a 3-pointer 40 seconds later to make it 55-43.

Texas maintained a double-digit lead until the final minute Texas beats Virginia Tech in the first round


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