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March 12, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Erick Green hit the go-ahead jumper with 4.7 seconds left, while Derwin Kitchen's desperation shot at the buzzer was waved off as Virginia Tech edged Florida State 52-51 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Friday night.
Green had made just 1 of 12 shots for the sixth-seeded Hokies (21-10) before taking a feed from Malcolm Delaney and calmly sinking a jumper near the 3-point arc. The third-seeded Seminoles (21-10) called timeout and inbounded to Kitchen, who dribbled into the right corner before launching a fadeaway over a defender at the horn.
The ball dropped through the net and the officials initially called it good, sending the Seminoles spilling onto the court to mob Kitchen in celebration. Meanwhile, Delaney and Green walked to midcourt with their hands on their heads in disbelief.
But officials quickly sent both teams back to their benches while they reviewed whether the shot came in time at the scorer's table. Replays on the scoreboard display were difficult to discern.
Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen leaned over with his hands on his knees while TV cameras all gathered in front of the Hokies to capture their reaction. Meanwhile, fans for both teams kept chanting and cheering in an agonizing delay until the official turned and waved the basket off.
That sent the Hokies sprinting around the court in celebration, while the Seminoles could only head back to the locker room after a stunning loss.
Delaney scored 16 points and Manny Atkins had 14 for Virginia Tech, which shot just 32 percent - including a miserable 5 for 28 (18 percent) in the first half - before finding a way to pull this one out. Green finished with just seven points as the Hokies became the first team to use only six players in an ACC Tournament game since NC State did it in the championship game 14 years ago.
Virginia Tech heads into Saturday's semifinals for another matchup with fifth-ranked Duke. The Hokies beat the Blue Devils in Blacksburg two weeks ago.
Bernard James had 11 points for the Seminoles, who led by 11 points in the first half and maintained at least a two-possession lead for most of the second half before the Hokies rallied. Florida State committed 20 turnovers that led to 19 points for the Hokies to help them overcome their shooting woes.