This past week, Tech upset NC State in men’s basketball with an impressive 26-point performance by star guard Jose Alvarado. With little time on the clock, Alvarado had two huge steals to help seal the game. He ended the game with a school-record nine steals. James Banks also helped in more intense moments of the game, tipping in two shots in the final minutes. This win felt good for the team after a narrow loss to top-ten team, Louisville. The Jackets were able to hang on throughout the entirety of the Louisville matchup game but wound up losing 64-68.
The Jackets, currently sitting at 9-11, have found themselves in the midst of a struggling season. In a conference with national powerhouses, the Jackets have found themselves in the lower-middle of the fray, ultimately finding some trouble in competing against top tier opponents.
In particular, the Jackets have found themselves struggling to close out games. Saturday’s game was a glimpse into a gritty Jackets team that was able to make plays when it counted. Banks is no stranger to making clutch plays when they count. Last November, he made strong free throws to seal the game against NC State. The previous March, he made an and-one in the final seconds against NC State to get the win.
This Louisville victory means that the Jackets have swept the Wolfpack this season, a notable achievement for a team in one of the strongest conferences in all of NCAA college basketball. Another noteworthy takeaway is that Tech was able to secure the victory without their leading scorer — Michael Devoe.
Devoe’s absence was caused by a sore foot. Seeing that playing would risk further aggravation, the last-minute decision forced Khalid Moore into his role. The forward, who is known for his defense, contributed five points for the offense. Devoe is looking to make his return Saturday against Notre Dame.
Saturday was also marked by an impressive turnout of 6,794 people. While a strong turnout for Tech, it still lags far behind that of the average attendance of 18,321 fans for crowds in the ACC last year. That being said, it is still over 800 people more than last year’s average attendance.