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.

“I had a direct view of it,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “As it went up I was like, man, that shot is going in, it’s going in, and then luckily it did and obviously sent us to overtime.”

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.

“They got momentum because we missed the free throw and they were coming down, and once they got down we did not want to foul in the act of shooting,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “We just were worried about that.”

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.

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.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.