BLACKSBURG, Va. — After three years of being on the NCAA Tournament bubble and winding up disappointed in the NIT, senior Malcolm Delaney hopes Virginia Tech made a pretty strong case for inclusion in the big tournament this year.
The Hokies used a late 15-4 run over 4½ minutes to turn a six-point deficit into a five-point lead Saturday night then held off top-ranked Duke 64-60, getting the badly needed signature victory that could boost their NCAA credentials significantly.
"A lot of teams, down six to Duke, would have just folded up and let Duke put the game away, but we didn't," Delaney said of turning a 53-47 deficit into a 62-57 lead. "We buckled up and got stops."
Terrell Bell had 12 points, including five straight to give Virginia Tech the lead for good with 4:19 left, and the Blue Devils' night-long shooting woes never relented.
"Our offense let us down (Saturday night)," Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Duke (26-3, 12-2 ACC) shot less than 40 percent and made 4 of 20 3-pointers.
The Hokies got big shots from several players, but none more important than Bell's. His 3-pointer from the right corner tied it with 4:40 left, and when he was fouled moments later, he said he needed the stoppage to collect himself.
"I definitely had to calm myself," he said. "It was a big moment for me. There was a lot going through my mind. I just had to take some deep breaths and knock down the free throws."
He made both, and when Jeff Allen was credited with a basket on goaltending with 2:39 left, the lead was four and it was time for Delaney to respond.
After Kyle Singler's basket, Delaney made his only 3-pointer of the night, swishing it from the top of the key, building the lead back to five.
"We were up two. I had to hit that shot," Delaney said.
NO. 3 KANSAS 82, OKLA. 70: Marcus Morris had 23 points and nine rebounds, twin brother Markieff added 19 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Jayhawks (27-2, 12-2) moved into a tie for first place in the Big 12.
COLORADO 91, NO. 5 TEXAS 89: The host Buffaloes overcame a 22-point first-half deficit to shock the Longhorns (24-5, 13-2 Big 12) behind 33 points from Alec Burks and 21 from Levi Knutson.
NO. 7 BYU 80, NO. 6 SAN DIEGO ST. 67: Jimmer Fredette had 25 points and Charles Abouo 18 as the visiting Cougars (27-2, 13-1) took a one-game lead in the Mountain West and swept the season series with the Aztecs (27-2, 12-2).
NO. 9 NOTRE DAME 60, SETON HALL 48: Tim Abromaitis had 22 points and Ben Hansbrough 21 for the host Irish (23-5, 12-4 Big East), who overcame a slow start to stay in second place.
UCLA 71, NO. 10 ARIZONA 49: Reeves Nelson had a career-high 27 points and 16 rebounds, and the host Bruins tied the Wildcats (23-6, 12-4) for first in the Pac-10 in the last men's game at Pauley Pavilion before it closes for renovation. Junior walk-on Tyler Trapani, great-grandson of the late John Wooden, scored UCLA's final basket.
NO. 17 SYRACUSE 58, NO. 11 G'TOWN 51: With Chris Wright's 93-game starting streak snapped because of a broken left hand, the host Hoyas (21-8, 10-7 Big East) couldn't keep up with the Orange (24-6, 11-6), which won its fourth straight game.
NO. 23 ST. JOHNS 81, NO. 15 VILLANOVA 68: Dwight Hardy had a career-high 34 points for the Red Storm (19-9, 11-5 Big East), which won its sixth straight game and beat its first Top 25 team away from Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats (21-8, 9-7) have lost two straight and four of six.
NO. 18 VANDY 90, LSU 69: Jeffery Taylor had 20 points and John Jenkins overcame a slow start to finish with 17 for the visiting Commodores (21-7, 9-5 SEC), who bounced back from their first loss in six games Tuesday against state rival Tennessee.
KANSAS ST. 80, NO. 20 MISSOURI 70: Jacob Pullen had 24 points and became the second Wildcats player to top 2,000 for his career, and host Kansas State pulled away in the final minutes to catch the Tigers (22-7, 8-6) in the battle for the fourth and final bye in the Big 12 tournament.
BAYLOR 58, NO. 21 TEXAS A&M 51: LaceDarius Dunn and Perry Jones had 16 points each for the host Bears, who swept the season series from the Aggies (22-6, 9-5 Big 12).
NO. 24 TEMPLE 57, GW 41: Lavoy Allen had 19 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the visiting Owls (22-6, 12-2 Atlantic 10), who scored eight in the first 10 minutes but held the Colonials to two over the final 11:22.
UCF 65, SO. MISS 64: Marcus Jordan had 20 points and reserve guard A.J. Rompza hit a deep 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left for the host Knights (18-9, 5-9 C-USA), who trailed for almost the entire second half.
TAMPA 79, FLA. TECH 75: Anthony Griffis had 22 points and Rashad Callaway 20 for the host Spartans (21-6, 10-6 Sunshine State) in their regular-season finale. Tampa, the fourth seed in the SSC tournament, will host Florida Tech at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
PALM BEACH ATL. 82, ECKERD 74: David Wood had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the host Sailfish. The Tritons (20-7), the third seed in the SSC tournament, will host Lynn at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.