VT's Nahiem Alleyne hits clutch three to force OT vs. Florida originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Clock winding down, up three, do you foul the opposition or play defense? Florida faced that choice against Virginia Tech in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gators chose to play it out and chose wrong.
Florida was leading the Hokies 64-61 with only seven seconds remaining. Gator Anthony Duruji missed his second-straight free throw and the defensive rebound went to Virginia Tech. Quickly up the floor Keve Aluma found the game's leading scorer Nahiem Alleyne for a wing three to force overtime.
From the start of the play, the team did not put themselves to foul or force a deep buzzer-beating attempt. Florida was going to play out the final possession. It could have cost the Gators the victory, but foul trouble caught up with the Hokies in the extra period. UF held on to win 75-70.
Colin Castleton led the way for Florida with 19 points and a crucial block at the rim in the winning moments late in regulation.
It was not the only late-game lapse for the team in Gainsville. Just moments prior, the team had a five-second inbounds violation with two timeouts in their pocket. But it doesn't have to be pretty in March, just survive and advance.
The No. 7 seed Gators will play the winner of No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts on Sunday.