Florida outlasts Virginia Tech in NCAA opener

Noah Locke
Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 15:40:28-04

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.