Alabama beats Virginia Tech 86-83 for 1st NCAA Tournament win since 2006

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 15: Collin Sexton #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide drives to the basket against Justin Robinson #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half of the game in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, PA. (AL.com) – Warming up for the second half, John Petty smiled a shot a thumbs up to the fan who shouted love to the Alabama freshman.

The shooting slump was dead. And Alabama lives on.

When Collin Sexton slow to start Thursday night, Petty’s dead-eye helped send Alabama to its first NCAA tournament win in 12 years, 86-83 over Virginia Tech.

Petty went 6-for-8 from 3-point range for 20 points while Sexton scored 22 of his 25 after halftime in a wild one with the Hokies.

Alabama (20-15) moves on to face top-seeded Villanova on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

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