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No. 8 Virginia Tech falls to No. 9 Alabama, 86-83

Alabama to play No. 1 Villanova on Saturday

Chris Clarke #15 of the Virginia Tech Hokies shoots the ball against Donta Hall #0 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half of the game in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, Penn. – In a game that remained close for the entire 40 minutes, Alabama came away the victor.

After leading by two at the half, the Hokies were outscored 45-40 in the second half.

Kerry Blackshear Jr., Justin Robinson and Wabissa Bede all fouled out for Virginia Tech.

Robinson led the Hokies in scoring with 19 points.

For Alabama, Collin Sexton scored 25 points in the winning effort.

With the 86-83 win, the Crimson Tide will now play 1-seed Villanova on Saturday.