Darius Maddox's buzzer-beater keeps Virginia Tech's hope alive for NCAA Tournament

March 10, 2022

March Madness is officially here, and the Virginia Tech Hokies are still alive and have a chance to make the tournament thanks to Darius Maddox's crazy buzzer-beater.

Before Maddox's buzzer-beater, it looked like the Hokies were going to lose in the NCAA tournament.

With Hunter Tyson and Nick Honor double-teaming the Hokies' Sean Pedulla, Maddox was able to get away from the defensive zone and hit a shot from the left wing.

With one second left, as the ball headed to the rim, Keve Aluma raised his hands and pumped his fists showing confidence in his teammate's shot. The other players on the court looked like they were already celebrating, while the fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn were worried about their team's fate.

Maddox has made a similar shot in the past. Head coach Mike Young said that he does it every week. "He does it every other week," he said. "He did it like two weeks ago [against Miami], so it's old hat for him."

The 76-75 win against the Tigers gives the Hokies one more chance to make the tournament, but they have to beat Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament to have a chance at doing that.

While waiting for his teammates to celebrate, Maddox looked at the crowd and shook his hands. He was then mobbed by his teammates, and the celebration continued mid-court.

"I loved the feeling," Maddox said on being the hero of the day. "It's amazing, especially to win a game in an atmosphere like this is great."

Hokies put in five guards with less than ten seconds

Aluma led the way for Virginia Tech with 19 points, while Storm Murphy added 15. Both players were the only players in double-digit scoring.

The Hokies looked like they were going to cruise to a win after taking an 11-point lead at the half. However, they allowed the lead to slip away during the second half.

But a glimmer of hope remains when Justyn Mutts' nailed a free throw with eight seconds remaining, which then opened a path for Maddox's incredible buzzer-beater.

Following a timeout by Clemson, Young decided to go with the five guards, which included Maddox. He said that he caught Clemson's coach Brad Brownell by surprise, as he had never done that before.

"I think we probably caught Clemson [head coach Brad] Brownell — not that it would have affected anything, maybe it would have switched — [but] I think we caught him by surprise when we went with the five guards," the 58 years old head coach said. "I've never done that."

Young explained that Maddox's game-winning shot was not the intended play, but it was the only play the sophomore guard could make. "He's one of those that has an innate ability to make a play with the ball in his hands off the bounce, catch it and shoot," the coach praised his 6-foot-5 guard.

The win was the latest example of how the Hokies have turned around their season and can compete for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Due to Maddox's incredible shot, the game became known as one of the greatest moments in the history of Virginia Tech.

Martin Evergreen
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