PITTSBURGH (AP) - The No. 8 seed Virginia Tech (21-11) plays ninth-seeded Alabama (19-15)
First round, East Region, Pittsburgh, 9:20 p.m. EDT on Thursday
BOTTOM LINE: Two programs with very little recent NCAA Tournament experience both get it this season with at-large bids. The Hokies are one of nine Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the field of 68.
BUZZ WORTHY: The Hokies had their best season under Buzz Williams and made the tournament for the second straight season. Guard Justin Robinson (13.8 points, 5.6 assists) is the top scorer on a team that has five players averaging double digits in points. The Hokies have lost four of five but have wins this season over tournament No. 2 seed Duke and No. 1 Virginia.
FANTASTIC FRESHMAN: Collin Sexton is the player to watch for the Crimson Tide. He averages 19 points and was named SEC co-freshman of the year and second team all-SEC. He dropped 40 points against Minnesota and his buzzer beater against Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament helped lead the Crimson Tide into the NCAA Tournament.
DID YOU KNOW: Alabama coach Avery Johnson also coached the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006.
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