With the game tied at 75 with less than 20 seconds remaining, Hokies guard MJ Collins received a pass near the baseline on the right, dribbled into painted territory and hit a short jumper to give Virginia Tech a 77–75 lead. He then threw his fist back in celebration, but in the process struck Duke star freshman Kyle Filipowski directly in the neck.
Filipowski fell to the floor and Collins immediately pulled back his fist upon contact, indicating it was an accident. The referees reviewed the play and called no outright fouls or fouls at all.
An obvious foul would have given Filipowski two free throws to tie the game.
Filipowski was seen still swaying as the team went back to the sidelines, and cameras caught him hunched over in his seat. The 19-year-old apparently also threw up in the hurdles.
“Yeah, he elbowed me right in my Adam’s apple,” Filipowski told reporters after the game. He said, “I couldn’t breathe for a minute, but I needed to throw up and it was good.”
“He was completely throwing up and didn’t want to go out for a minute,” Duke manager John Shire added. “He’s a great fighter.”
Duke’s Tyrese Proctor missed a go-ahead 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and the Blue Devils turned the ball over on a last-gasp attempt after Virginia Tech split a pair of free throws.
Virginia Tech hung on to win the game, 78-75, and Duke recorded its fourth road loss in five attempts away from home. Three of the Blue Devils’ next five games are underway, including two top-20 teams in Virginia and Miami.