Tech can’t tame Tide: Hokies bounced by Bama in NCAA tournament

Dazon Ingram of Alabama against Chris Clarke of Virginia Tech. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – When analyzing last year’s first round exit vs. Wisconsin, Virginia Tech head men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams admitted the magnitude of the ‘Big Dance’ was a bit too much for his team.

“I don’t know that we prepared for the event as much as we should have,” Williams told reporters Wednesday. “I think we prepared for Wisconsin. I think we prepared for the opponent, but I don’t know that I did a good job helping prepare them for the event.”

In 2018, his 8th seeded Hokies – playing in the program’s first back-to-back NCAA tournaments since 1985-86, certainly appeared more ready for the event. And the event delivered a thrilling first round game vs. (9) Alabama at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh – however, one in which the Hokies came up short.

Head coach Buzz Williams of the Virginia Tech Hokies. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

In a back and forth game, the Crimson Tide – playing its first NCAA tournament game in six years – pulled away late to top Tech, 86-83. Bama’s fantastic freshman, Collin Sexton, led all scorers with 25 points.

Justin Robinson, who fouled-out late in the second half, led Tech with 19 points. Virginia Beach native Chris Clarke added four points, two assists and a rebound.

The Hokies finish the seasonĀ  21-and-12. Alabama advances to play top-seeded Villanova Saturday.