By HANK KURZ Jr., AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Joe Harris scored nine of his 15 points in the opening minutes of the second half Monday night and Virginia rallied to beat Fairfield 54-45 in the NIT Season Tip-off.
Akil Mitchell had 12 points and Evan Nolte added 11 for the Cavaliers (1-1), who will play in the second round Tuesday night.
Josip Mikulic scored 13 points and Derek Needham and Desmond Wade had 10 each for Fairfield (1-1). The Stags scored only 15 points in the second half, making just 5 of 24 shots. In the first half, they were 12 for 23 with six 3-pointers, including three in as many tries by the 7-foot Mikulic.
Harris scored nine of the Cavaliers' first 11 points in the second half, including a 15-foot jumper with 17 minutes left that gave them their first lead at 33-32.
Virginia stretched its margin to 42-37 as the Stags went 5 minutes without a point, but Desmond Wade made a pair of free throws for Fairfield and Colin Nickerson followed several Cavaliers' misses with a layup at the other end, making it a one-point game with 8:45 to go. Fairfield added just two field goals the rest of the way.
Virginia was playing its second game without starting point guard and team captain Jontel Evans and backup point guard Malcolm Brogdon, both of whom are recovering from surgeries. Coach Tony Bennett used several players at the point, but Harris was in charge in the closing moments.
He fed Mitchell for a basket with 4:08 to play that gave Virginia a 51-45 lead, and after neither team scored for more than a minute, Harris' 10-foot jumper stretched the lead to eight and the Cavaliers were never challenged again.
March Madness is set to tip-off on March 14 with the 'First Four' In Dayton, but which teams will be playing and where has yet to be determined.
The 2017 NCAA Tournament field will be filled thanks to automatic qualifiers from conference tournaments in the weeks leading up to Selection Sunday.
Selection Sunday is when the remaining at-large teams find out who is in and who is out and how the bracketology plays out.
That will happen when the NCAA selection committe reveals the 68 team tournament field for the National Championship on Selection Sunday. Here is how to watch:
WHEN IS SELECTION SUNDAY?
Selection Sunday for the 2017 NCAA Tournament takes place on Sunday, March 12th and begins at 6:00 p.m.
WHAT CHANNEL IS SELECTION SUNDAY AND THE BRACKET REVEAL?
On Selection Sunday, the NCAA Selection Committee will reveal the NCAA Tournament Bracket on CBS at 6:00 p.m., following the final of the SEC championship game.
IS THER A SELECTION SUNDAY LIVE STREAM?
You can watch the Selection Sunday bracketology show on the NCAA.com live stream.
The NCAA selection committee will select the 36 best at-large teams in the country to join the 32 conference champions. From there the committe seeds all 68 teams to an equal bracket in each region. Once selected, here is the tournament schedule up until the National Championship:
2017 NCAA Tournament Important Dates:
Selection Sunday: March 12
First Four: March 14, 15
First Round: March 16, 17
Second Round: March 18, 19
Sweet 16: March 23, 24
Elite Eight (Regional Championships): March 25, 26
Final Four: April 1
National Championship: April 3
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Seth Allen's 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left to play carried Virginia Tech to a 71-70 victory over Clemson on Tuesday night.
Zach LeDay scored 19 points for the Hokies (19-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who also beat the Tigers by a point on Jan. 22. Virginia Tech won for the third time in four games and moved to 14-1 at home this season.
The loss was the latest in series of excruciating defeats for the Tigers (14-13, 4-11), who dropped their fifth game in their past six outings. Clemson is now 3-10 in games decided by six points or less.
Clemson's Marcquise Reed hit a baseline jumper with 21.6 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 70-68 lead. Out of a timeout, Allen missed a layup with 10 seconds left, and LeDay got the rebound, but the ball was knocked out of his hands and went out of bounds off Clemson.
Virginia Tech then worked the ball to Allen, who buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Allen finished with eight points.
Reed led the Tigers with 18 points.
MORE NCAA HOOPS: Virginia, Maryland continue sliding down in the polls