Photo Gallery: Hokies Trip Up the Blue Devils

March madness started a few days early.

...get it? [Mark Umansky]

In case you were wondering what play this story's photo header is from, observe below.

Virginia Tech pulled off the 64-63 upset against No. 5 Duke and all but locked up a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies simultaneously made me stay up until about 1:30 AM on a weeknight out of sheer adrenaline, but it was so, so worth it.

To start the last basketball photo story of the season for me (unless someone wants to pony up for plane tickets and a hotel for me at the Final Four...), we have Justin Robinson getting some good hang time on an otherwise very business-like slam dunk during warmups. I feel like I've been trying to make a good photo during warmups all season and it took until the last game to get something I liked out of it.

Grayson Allen made his presence felt in Cassell very early on in the game, which then made Cassell's collective noise generating abilities very apparent early on as well. Allen was everywhere in my photos, which is probably expected from a senior player at Duke, but also probably lends itself to why the Hokies ended up hanging around all game and staying within striking distance. A one-man show is a tough plan to execute.

I'm going to let Buzz Williams narrate these next three photos from this week's Tech Talk Live:

"Yeah, really special. Another lifetime memory, I think. Incredible coach, incredible team, incredible atmosphere, second Big Monday appearance in school history. It's the first time, since I've been here, that all four corners were filled. Just think the environment has continued to improve. The game atmosphere, all of the marketing and all of those people that work so diligently to try and figure out how to be more creative, I just think it's continued to improve.

Both head coaches earned their paychecks during the game more or less (righteously?) harassing the referees all night. Buzz and Coach K are probably two of the more....photogenic is the wrong word, but good photo subjects to make a picture of as they do so. The only thing missing from this game was TV Teddy or King Karl to balance it out from the other side.

Some actual basketball plays also happened from time to time:

Finally, we hit the end of the game. Trevon Duval misses a free throw (good job, Cassell Guard)...

...the Hokies take the lead for good on the opposite end, then defend the desperation three from Grayson Allen...

...and then all hell breaks loose.

Fun fact, I wasn't able to make a great photo of this moment (it is in fact possible to be too close), but right before this photo, Buzz (lightly...ish) punched athletic director Whit Babcock in the stomach a few times and a photo miss turns into "art".

First player I trailed was Justin Robinson, who broke off to yell towards the crowd all by himself near mid-court by the TV booth. After I followed him, I had some difficulties getting back onto the other side of the security cordon and basically had to shove my way through them to get back to more open court.

I also really like this photo of Robinson with the framing by the other two photographers on either side of him. It gives you just the small hint of context that this isn't a normal basketball photo, but that something different is going on.

This crop of students are getting good at this whole rushing the court thing, they filled up what the security guards would give them to the max. (I miss the full-court rush from previous years, but part of me wonders just how much weight the floor can take with thousands of students jumping up and down on it.)

Finally, once Buzz got his punches out, he immediately homed in on his family near the corner by the baseline. Easily the happiest looking I've seen him all year.

Check out the entire gallery and the whole season of Buzzketball photos. I'll see you all at the Spring Game in a few weeks.

Comments

Love seeing Buzz go right to his family after the game. Great pictures as always Mark, thanks for sharing.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

My thoughts exactly. You can tell his wife was as emotional as he was after the game.

Skills!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Thanks for censoring his giblets.

All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.

Hit the pace car?

Hit the pace car!

What for?

Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect!

probably her giblets.

edit: some guests brought the hokie bird to our wedding reception, and *she* was doing the splits to metallica.

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#extendbronco

As a former gymnast, I agree with this statement. Not many of us dudes can ever make that straddle split.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, TKPC#490, One of us!

What y'all can't do that? Amateurs.

All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.

Hit the pace car?

Hit the pace car!

What for?

Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect!

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I thought that WAS the Hokie Bird's giblets.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

gib·lets - noun - the liver, heart, gizzard, and neck of a chicken or other fowl, usually removed before the bird is cooked, and often used to make gravy, stuffing, or soup.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Beautiful

Magnifique

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

When someone's cussin' near you

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Danny Coale Caught That Ball!!!

I think this was the one you tried to get Mark. I like your picture better though, it was a detail shot that personified the "fight" in this team. Honestly I think my favorite two of yours is the one of Buzz hugging his wife, and that smile he has as his daughter runs towards him. Just genuine stuff right there. Great job as always!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Yeah, that's Michael Shroyer's fishy view that he managed to make. You can actually see me right behind Whit trying to get into position.

I'm a sucker for fish eye lenses frfr. I like to think of myself as a photography hobbyist. So I truly enjoy when you put these out.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Ummm, I might need to get a maroon suit and copy Whit's swag!

Hi yeah I did take this photo! Might try to make a gif of the whole sequence later.. It's pretty fantastic.

Please do!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Here it is. 40 spectacular frames

Rocky Buzz Williams!!! This is great!

“I'm addicted to placebos. I could quit, but it wouldn't matter”~steven wright

Can't stop watching.

Any chance you sell prints/digital copies?

Buzz lands a quick jab to body, but love how quick Whit's baseball hands respond to set into blocking position to thwart Buzz' right and second jab.
Whit steps back with his right foot to change his angle and open Buzz's head for the open right upper to the chin....
But then Whit decides to abort and just close in with a body hug, effectively ending the exchange.

They would make a GREAT tag-team....

Looks like Whit gets him turned around at the end there and moves towards a head lock.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Michael/Mark, what do you guys shoot with, if you don't mind me asking? I am in the market for a new camera here soon, and I'm looking to upgrade from my archaic D90. Any information would be much appreciated.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I shoot with a myriad of Nikon stuff.. the d90 was my first DSLR way back when. I would compare/contrast the d3000, d5000, and d7000 series depending on features you might want and your budget.

Interesting, thanks for the leads, good to know I was on to something with my D90, way back when. Have you taken a gander at the D850?

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Looks like Whit is handing Buzz a raise. Buzz is much excite.

You need to get J Rob that levitation dunk shot for his personal collection. He looks like a super hero.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

Give me that mic back. Umm, on second thought.

#Let's Go - Hokies

I must say, If Khadim puts as much effort on the court next year as he has this year in his bench celebrations, we should be in good shape.

Thank you for the wonderful photo's....they really capture the experience. What a memorable game!

VHokie

There's the new LeDay scream

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Seconded.

There's the new LeDay LeiaDay scream

FTFY

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#extendbronco

This looks like the dinosaur in Jurassic Park that has it's head gill things lift up and shake everywhere before it spits venom lol

I thought it vaguely looked like the alien from Predator.

Alien was from Alien. Predator was from Predator. But there was Alien vs Predator.

All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.

Hit the pace car?

Hit the pace car!

What for?

Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect!

Technically Predator was an alien.

Technically we were aliens to them...

All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.

Hit the pace car?

Hit the pace car!

What for?

Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect!

Tomayto/Tomahto

Love the photo of 5 with Lauren and Don. Is that as wide as the original is?

I see a couple of cobras in the crowd here. Glad they slithered away quickly.

JP

Also shows JRob doing a great job to contest the shot without fouling. Good to see somebody contest the desperation three since I've seen a lot of teams recently get burned by it.

Retitle thread "Grayson almost trips up Hokies (Clarke)". Instead Dukies fall over the place as Clarke drives coast to coast.

#Let's Go - Hokies