Last-ditch 3 keeps NC State alive; Wolfpack beat UVA 73-65 in OT after bank shot ties it at buzzer

Sat, Mar 16, 2024

Last-ditch 3 keeps NC State alive; Wolfpack beat UVA 73-65 in OT after bank shot ties it at buzzer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Michael O'Connell kept North Carolina State's NCAA Tournament hopes alive by the slimmest of margins, banking in a wild 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime in a 73-65 victory over Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday night.

The 10th-seeded Wolfpack (21-14) are one victory from pulling off an epic five-wins-in-five-days run for the ACC's automatic bid, and if they do it, they'll remember this escape for a while. With the score 58-55, Isaac Mckneely missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for Virginia. O'Connell rushed the ball up the left sideline and shot from in front of his team's bench.

The shot banked off the glass, then rolled around the rim and in.

It was the second straight night a team made a shot at the buzzer against Virginia to force overtime, but on Thursday the Cavaliers were able to beat Boston College.

In overtime, it was the D.J. Burns Jr. show. Time and again, N.C. State would give the ball to the 6-foot-9, 275-pound post player, who would slowly back his way down, he and his defender repeatedly bouncing off each other. Burns scored seven points in overtime and 19 in the game on 8-of-11 shooting.

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The Wolfpack take on top-seeded North Carolina for the tournament championship on Saturday night.

N.C. State shot 3 of 17 from 3-point range, but O'Connell made the one the Wolfpack needed, and the Cavaliers (23-10) were done in by their poor free throw shooting.

With 1:10 remaining, Virginia had a five-point lead, and after a flagrant foul called on Burns, the Cavaliers got two shots and the ball. Reece Beekman missed both attempts though, and when he was fouled on the ensuing possession, Beekman made only one of two.

Then Ryan Dunn fouled a 3-point shooter, and Casey Morsell made all three free throws to cut the lead to three.

After a defensive stop, N.C. State had a chance to tie, but when Morsell missed a 3-pointer and Mckneely rebounded, Virginia needed one free throw to ice the game. It never came.


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