The last 15 seconds of the Duke vs. Virginia Techgame Monday night had everything: A go-ahead shot, a throat punch, a no-call, and some vomit.
With the game tied at 75 and under 20 seconds left, Hokies guard MJ Collins took a pass near the right baseline, dribbled into the painted area, and hit a short jumper to give Virginia Tech a 77-75 lead. He then cocked his fist back to celebrate – but in the process, ended up punching star Duke freshman Kyle Filipowski directly in the throat.
Filipowski collapsed to the ground, and Collins pulled back his fist immediately upon contact, signaling that it was an accident. The officials reviewed the play and did not call a flagrant foul – or any foul at all.
A flagrant foul would have given Filipowski two free throws, and thus a chance to tie the game.
Filipowski still looked shaken up as the team went back to the sideline, with cameras catching him hunched over in his seat. The 19-year-old apparently even threw up in the huddle.
“Yeah, he just elbowed me right in my Adam’s apple,” Filipowski told reporters after the game. “I couldn’t breathe for a minute, but I just needed to throw up and I was good.”
“He was full-on throwing up and he wasn’t about to be out for a second,” Duke head coach Jon Scheyer added. “He’s a big-time warrior, man.”
Duke’s Tyrese Proctor missed a go-ahead 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and the Blue Devils turned the ball over with their last-gasp attempt after Virginia Tech split a pair of free throws.
Virginia Tech hung on to win the game, 78-75, handing Duke their fourth road loss in five tries away from home. Three of the Blue Devils’ next five games are on the road, including two top-20 teams in Virginia and Miami.