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Short-handed Florida outlasts Virginia Tech in NCAA tournament

Gators win 75-70 in OT, advance to second round for eighth straight appearance
Florida Gators forward Colin Castleton blocks shot of Virginia Tech Hokies guard Tyrece Radford in 2021 NCAA tournament
Posted at 3:36 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 15:36:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Florida is heading to the second round for an eighth straight NCAA tournament appearance -- and with arguably its best player on the bench as a de facto assistant coach.

Colin Castleton scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Tre Mann hit a step-back 3-pointer with 23 seconds left in overtime and seventh-seeded Florida held off No. 10 seed Virginia Tech 75-70 in a first-round game.

The Gators were cheered on by Keyontae Johnson, who has supported and inspired his teammates from the bench since his return from a scary medical episode.

Johnson collapsed on the court during a game in December.

Nahiem Alleyne finished with 30 points for Virginia Tech, including a 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime.