Virginia Tech 75
In one dramatic last-second play, a new generation of players added to Duke basketball lore.
All at Virginia Tech's expense.
Sean Dockery made a heave from about 40 feet with less than a second left, giving the top-ranked Blue Devils an improbable 77-75 victory over Virginia Tech on Sunday night in the ACC opener for both teams.
It conjured up memories of Christian Laettner's shot at the buzzer that beat Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA tournament, when he took a pass from Grant Hill and swished a jumper from near the top of the key. Much as Hill did, Josh McRoberts set the play in motion with perfect aim.
"I don't know what I was thinking," McRoberts said. "It was kind of surreal to watch."
The frantic finish denied the Hokies a stunning upset after they rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final 41/2 minutes. Coleman Collins capped the comeback by tipping in a miss by Zabian Dowdell, and after conferring with TV replays, the referees put 1.6 seconds back on the clock for the Blue Devils (7-0).
Coach Mike Krzyzewski drew up a play for burly center Shelden Williams, but assistant Johnny Dawkins saw Dockery was virtually unguarded. He urged the senior guard to make himself available for McRoberts's pass, if Williams should be covered.
That's exactly how it happened.
"I knew I had plenty of time," Dockery said. "I had confidence in the shot and I knocked it down."
He received the ball just over half court, then took one quick dribble and launched his shot from the "Coach K Court" decal near the sideline.
It rattled in, sending the fans at Cameron Indoor Stadium into a frenzy and giving Virginia Tech (5-3) its second stunning loss in two days. On Saturday, Marcus Vick and the football team lost the ACC's first championship game to Florida State.
"I'm very proud of our basketball team," Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said. "We did a lot of things that gave us a chance to win the basketball game. We just got beat by a great team on a great shot."