Buzzketball Falls In Miami 69-68

The Hokies (21-10, 10-8 ACC) lose to both Miami and Jamie Luckie in a disappointing finish to the regular season.

[Mark Umansky]

There's a responsible way to talk about the Virginia Tech men's basketball team's 69-68 loss to the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.

It would be responsible to talk about the Hokies controlling 65 percent of the game, only to let a single bad stretch let them down. Tech was up 12 with two minutes left in the first half, and had a chance to lead by double digits at intermission. Instead, Justin Robinson turned it over, and Hurricane point guard Chris Lykes trimmed the lead to seven in the closing seconds.

Robinson and company brought that flat, bone-headed effort into the second half, surrendering massive Miami runs. By the under 12 timeout, the Canes were up five and eventually stretched it to nine. DJ Vasiljevic—part A Night at the Roxbury stand in, part doughy Matthew Dellavedova— took advantage of mental lapses to bomb away from behind the arc. The Aussie hit four three pointers, all seeming to come in crucial moments.

It would be responsible to talk about the turnovers. For the first time since the Florida State loss, giveaways were both numerous and backbreaking. Robinson (who had a great game otherwise, with 18 points and six assists) committed six of Tech's 15 turnovers, which lead to 18 easy points for Miami. It's tough enough to win March, but it's nearly impossible to do so after giving away that many buckets.

It would be responsible to mention the no-showing of Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who hit just one of his six shots and was pulled for Tyrie Jackson down the stretch. And to talk about the team missing a few easy looks inside over the final five minutes. And to say that they shot just 68 percent (13-19) from the free throw line.

It's a responsible media outlet's job to identify all of the reasons why Virginia Tech dropped their final game of the regular season, a winnable affair that could have afforded them a double bye in the ACC Tournament. And head coach Buzz Williams will undoubtedly be kicking himself for letting his guys cough up such a meaningful result.

But if it's responsible to cover all of the reasons for the Hokies loss, then let's talk about the final one.

His name is Jamie Luckie.

With a handful of seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied, Lykes tried to blow by Robinson. The diminutive freshman had a step, fell to the ground, and drew a non-shooting foul with three seconds to go. I'll let you be the judge.

I have a ton of problems with this call. To blow the whistle on a non-shooting foul in that situation—a tied game with three second left—takes a kind of ego and self-importance usually reserved for a cartoon villain. Even IF there's contact, there's a 50/50 chance as to which of the two point guards initiated it. To not only make the call (which would have been questionable regardless of the moment), but to do so KNOWING it would effectively end the game, means that Luckie was arrogant enough in his opinion to not doubt the call.

Which gets to the second problem, that the whistle came late and only after Lykes hit the ground. It was reactionary. And reactionary is not something you want from a veteran official who's likely to work multiple tournament games.

Luckie's awful, ticky tack, chicken shit whistle was the final decider in an otherwise great game from both teams. And to have a man, who's known to do this, ultimately play such a big factor in ACC seeding is really a shame. And I bet Buzz would agree.

Again, the final call was not the only thing to factor into the loss. The Hokies gave up a sizeable lead, and seemed to lose their bearings for most of the second half. But after closing things out on a 13-2, with Chris Clarke taking over in the final throes (just like he did against Duke), it was clear that Tech put the work in to come away with a victory. But they were tripped up just short.

The Hokies dreams of a top four seed are dashed. With a win and a little help, Tech could have secured third place in the best conference in America. Instead, they fall to seventh, and a likely matchup with Notre Dame, a team that's won five of seven coming into the weekend. A team that gets All-ACC forward (and one man wrecking ball) Bonzie Colson back from a broken foot. A team that needs a magical run to make it to the NCAA Tournament.


Let's get ready for Brooklyn.


I lost all faith

I feed off of nightmares

Well said, Brian.

The refs didn't lose us the game. But it damn sure guaranteed it. That should never be the case.

I'm glad to see someone else saw it the way I did. I thought the way the commentators were talking I totally did not understand what a foul was.

Hello darkness my old friend

I feed off of nightmares

We played pretty "bad Hokie basketball" for the first 6 or so minutes of the second half... that, in my opinion, is why VT lost.

To add, and this is in no way a jab at Buzz as I love him at VT, Jim Larranaga is just a better in-game coach. He makes brilliant adjustments, he makes brilliant personnel changes, he is a really good coach.

Is it basketball season yet?

Buzz has made plenty of adjustments to help VT win this year in the ACC (see Horne off the bench to beat Duke).

Did Larranaga make better adjustments today, maybe. It is hard to outcoach everyone in the ACC game in and game out; I am really impressed with what Buzz did for VT basketball this season.

I certainly agree and affirm as much in my statement. I was simply pointing out how good of a coach Larrañaga is.

Is it basketball season yet?

Larannnagggaa is a vastly better coach than Leonard Hamilton. Both of those guys recruit little or crazy but Larrrrannnaga knows what to do with the talent.

If you don't score more points than the other team you lose.

#Let's Go - Hokies

I was a basketball referee, and if my knee ever gets its act together I will return to it. I love the sport and believe it's a real privilege to be on the court well past my playing days.

VT didn't take the opportunities it had to win this game. Therefore at the end, it was just another opportunity for a celebrefree to steal the show.

1. If anyone knows your name from anything other than reading the game notes or box score, you're doing it wrong. Roger Ayers is maybe the exception, insofar as he is regarded as one of the most consistent and professional ones in the biz. I texted Ruhland before the game and we had a good laugh that getting TV Teddy and Jamie for this one (a) proved the ACC hates both the Hokies AND Miami and (b) wanted both of them as far from the Duke-UNC game as possible.

2. On that last play, you swallow the whistle. I don't care if it's the B Game of a Middle School contest. You let the players play unless it's absolutely unavoidable and you must. A Ref should never decide the game that way.

3. The inconsistency must be absolutely maddening for the coaches. They should take part of each refs game check and place it in the Coaches Pepto Bismal Relief Fund.

I don't like ref-blaming for an L. We could've kept ourselves from being in this position 15 different ways. But to have it effectively ended by a call like that is a disservice to everyone on the floor., including Miami.

I think it's time for a stiff drink, and get ready for our ACC Tourney and NCAA Tourney runs.

And no surprise there, it's Wally Lancaster with an airball that looked gorgeous on its way to nowhere...
2/15/89, VT vs. South Carolina...


Ehhh, looked a little less like a foul from that angle, but I don't have a problem with the call. The fact that he went to the ground is what makes it a foul. You can't have ball handlers hitting the ground after contact without calling a foul.

Refereeing happens, there are a ton of close calls all game. No need to be worked up about one call. Hill drew a charge call when he was barely touched. A lot of tough calls out there for both teams today, but it wasnt an egregiously called game.

We lost a tough game by 1 to a good team. Time to tighten up, nothing easy coming up. Let's win some games and have some fun.

Malcolm Delaney would have scored 50 a night if all he had to do was hit the ground after contact.

Couldn't get past your second sentence. That's not how fouls work.

Can I add that the heave by Clarke at the end seemed more desperate than it should have been.

Is it basketball season yet?

By my calculation, he had another second and a half before he needed to throw that, or get fouled.

Looks like very little contact. But if he lets him go there are two tall Hokies ready to block any shot he attempts.

#Let's Go - Hokies

If you are mad at that last foul call you seriously need to take your maroon and orange glasses off. It was blatant, obvious and frankly a dumb play by Robinson. After Lykes gets a step on JROB, he does the classic "I'm beat let me reach around for the ball" and gets nothing but Lykes' arm which caused him to lose the ball. If the same thing had happened to Robinson this site would be losing their minds if there wasn't a foul called

You might be the only one who thinks that foul was blatant. The fact that Lykes trips and falls while only being touched/hit/whatever on the back of his elbow makes it ridiculous, but it's mainly that it was called in a TIED GAME with 3 SECONDS LEFT that makes it FUCKING STUPID

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

You are abso fucking lutely right and I commend your enthusiastic use of all caps to describe your outrage. I'm right there with you.

I also just wish they would have done the other 15 things that could have won the game.

Damn it all to hell...

The call was 50/50 and could have gone either way. On the possession before, Bibbs had a shot that should go in well over 50% of the time. Justin Robinson proceeded to get blown by and, instead of trying to recover or just let his help do the work, did a reach from behind making contact. Yes, it's a tick tack foul. Yes, I agree that you let the players play on the final 2 possessions of the game. But when it comes down to it, if Bibbs makes that bunny or JRob plays defense properly, the ref wouldn't be in the position to make such a costly call.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Bibbs was fouled just as much as the UM player on those possessions.

Always choose joy.

Honestly I'm afraid this team won't be able to do much in the postseason. It just seems like they get some really great wins, but then the next game they follow it up with a less than optimal performance. Maybe they can get hot and go on a run, but they haven't shown it yet.


lol we just beat duke and now this doom and gloom?

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

We are so up and down. It's the inconsistency that makes it hard to believe in this team. ND is a tough draw. If we are a 8/9 seed in NCAA, get the Pepto out.

I'll believe in any team that has the four best RPI wins in the country

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

That's literally my point. It's not doom and gloom, they're a good team. But they've been inconsistent.


Let's also point out Lykes totally flopped on that play. Makes me lose respect for someone Id otherwise admire for making it so far at a disadvantage

for making it so far at a disadvantage

Meanwhile, in Indy...

Shaquem Griffin would like a word.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

He is a monster. Watching UCF play in the bowl game he was going off and I had no clue he was missing a hand until the halftime story on it

I'm pissed about the foul call, but way more about how we failed to put them down after how we played the first half.

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)..

My biggest issue with this call is that clearly it's reactionary as Brian pointed out. Does Luckie make the call if he stays on his feet? My guess is no, and the fact that the player goes to the ground after contact doesn't make it any more or less of a foul (usually).

O&M glasses aside, Luckie should have choked on that whistle. I would say the same thing if the tables were reversed and Miami was in this situation. Let the players decide the outcome, not a ticky-tack foul call. Yeah we could have prevented being in that spot to begin with, but we didn't. Why is it that there are SO many basketball referees that have "big names"? It's definitely an issue.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

So why does the player fall down here? Was he actually hit hard enough to lose his balance? Was there nothing to lose in a tie game so he took a gamble?


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

He may be 5'7, but he's strong. If you watch, Five swiped in front of him/at his left arm, which should make him fall backwards/rotate the way his arm got yanked, no? He definitely took a gamble.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Lykes is that little kid at the gyk that always runs hus mouth but then gets touches and flails looking for a call to which everyone laughs at him. Except for ACC basketball it seems.

On the plus side, it was nice to see Med Hill make a 3 point attempt. He had only made 2 in all of February.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Miami didn't score a field goal for eight minutes and we still couldn't catch up. That's why we lost.

at least we get to play Notre Dame,
with their two best players back,
in prime time,
in what is basically a ND home game.

Pass the upset, Pitt.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

What is all this grief over playing Notre Dame?

You think the team is scared of playing Notre Dame?

Fuck that. I'm excited to see what they have in store for Colson and the other Lucky Charms... Fuck Notre Dame.

Leonard. Duh.

in what is basically a ND home game.


Always choose joy.

It's a shot at them because their biggest fan base lives in Jersey. Kinda like Duke

Rip his freaking head off!

I was a bit surprised Buzz did not throw a fit with that bad call. Seems strange that he accepted it

Buzz tends to play the odds, the percentages, and what not. I think he realized that it was a 100% chance that Jamie Lucky was not going to change his call.

Go Hokies

Listened on radio; Laze or Mike said first thing Buzz did after the buzzer was walk over and talk to Luckie to let him know (so they supposed) 'you cost us the game'.


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

That was a terrible call at the end of the game that might have cost us the game, but if you also take away our excess of sloppy turnovers and missed layups, along with missed free throws, we win this game comfortably. We kinda blew this game, maybe because we were not expecting to win or what, but when we get up big on a team like Miami, we have to stomp on their throat. The killer instinct is lacking on this team, like it does on most teams, playing down to the competition. Maybe we can chalk it up to listening to everybody saying we're a lock for the tournament, and we probably are, but we're not doing the things that will lead to the making of a successful run in either the ACC or NCAA tournaments.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

It's just a bummer we blew it with so many rewards to reap. Come Monday we would have been nationally ranked and had the double bye with a 3rd place finish behind UVA and Duke. The exposure and potential for a tournament run would have been so nice.

Instead we finish 7th.


Let's Go...

If Lykes didn't hit that ridiculously ill advised, off balance, fadeaway three from ten feet behind the line, we win.

Must be nice to be rewarded for having two left feet...

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I'm not mad, I'm disappointed.

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

Me too. The way we all should be.

Always be yourself. Because the people that matter, don't mind. And the one's that mind, don't matter.

To me, the more offensive foul was the charge on the made basket. It should have been a block for a +1. The defender wasn't set and he was moving his right foot/ sliding when contact was made. That changed the way the end of the game was played.

Somebody with more knowledge than me can better explain it, but they changed the charge rule a few years ago to be less about the defender being set and more about who initiated the contact. It used to be the defender had to be perfectly set to draw the charge, these days it's less about that and it may not even matter at all if the defender is set.

The terminology they use now is legal guarding position. You don't need to be set, just be the first one to the spot where the contact is made.

Rip his freaking head off!

I thought that both charge calls were good and comparable.

I keep hoping Clarke will stop making me pull my hair out but I think he is who he is at this point. As long as he keeps finishing games like this I can accept him. I'm much more disappointed in Robinson this late in the season. He's doing so much for this team but he had way too many sloppy, dumb turnovers this late in the year. Also that call was garbage, but that's been covered.

When I saw the end of this game, I thought to myself that I couldn't be the only one looking at this BS game changing foul call.

Thank you TKP for validating my relative sanity

I'm bummed ):

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I thought it was weird in the last two minutes of the game, after timeouts mind you, Buzz's gameplan seemed to be to let CC go 1 on 1. Don't get me wrong, he's a great energy guy and versatile weapon but doesn't exactly have the best handle. I didn't understand that call and I don't know why it wasn't JRob's show to run.

Let's Go...

I understand that Notre Dame with Bonzie is very different from a typical 10-seed team, but in the end it's the time of the season where you don't get to whine about your opponent anymore. If we want to make a run this post-season, we're going to have to beat teams like Notre Dame.

you gotta beat the mediocre to be the mediocre!!

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)..

Speaking of fouls, was Bibbs fouled on his missed 4 footer near the end? Hard to believe he air balled a 4 footer.

US Navy Vet

nope, he forced a bad shot reaching around a defender and was off balance when he finally got it off. I don't see a foul looking at the replay or where he butterfingered it out of bounds on the rebound. He should have dished it off to KJ to try and back down their center. Not a lot of time on the shot clock (5 seconds), but I've liked KJ's chances to do something with the ball. Also, Lykes was fouled with 3 seconds left. So, in hindsight, burning 4 more seconds off the clock could have meant the difference between losing by 1 and pushing it to overtime.

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)..

Go Tech Go.

That game is where we earned and validated the chokies moniker

The Cup is going nowhere Mikey! They did it somehow!

According to my mom (she went to Tech) that one goes all the way back to the 70s. Maybe earlier.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows