No. 1 Virginia was six seconds away from being upset at Louisville. Virginia trailed 66-62 and it appeared the were set to lose. However, a series of mishaps by Louisville and the determination of the top-ranked team in the nation led to the Cavaliers escaping Louisville with an improbable comeback win.
De’Andre Hunter banked a three pointer from the wing as time expired to propel Virginia to a 67-66 win. The win improves the Cavaliers to a perfect 9-0 on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference play. They become the first team in conference history to win nine games on the road.
With less than a second to go, Louisville was primed to upset No. 1 Virginia.
And then, this happened… pic.twitter.com/yukpCUca04
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 2, 2018
How the game got to that moment was remarkable. Ty Jerome was fouled shooting a three with 0.9 seconds remaining. It was mind boggling decision by Louisville guard Darius Perry with Louisville leading by four in the closing moments. Down four, Jerome needed to make the first two and miss the third free throw on purpose in hopes of a tip-in score to tie.
Definitely gotta contest this shot when you're up 4 with one second left pic.twitter.com/S35ZjdqOkU
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) March 2, 2018
Jerome made the first two. But a lane violation on Mamadi Diakite negated the intentional miss. Louisville got the ball. All they needed was to inbound the ball and get away with a win. Instead, Louisville’s Deng Adel lost sight the inbounds was off a dead-ball situation. Adel ran the baseline trying to throw in the ball. He was immediately called for the violation, turning the ball back over to Virginia.
Turnover. Louisville Adel moved on inbounds, and turns it over to Virginia. Cavaliers ball under their own goal. Inbound and score and we're in OT.
— Jerry Ratcliffe (@JerryRatcliffe) March 2, 2018
From the under their own goal, Jerome found Hunter, who banked the game-winning shot off a catch-and-shoot. Virginia celebrated as a stunned KFC Yum! Center looked on.
Virginia (27-2, 16-1 in the ACC) trailed by as many as 13 in the second half and was outplayed for much of the game by the Cardinals, who were inspired on Senior Night.
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) March 2, 2018
Virginia has already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Brooklyn. The win just shows the heart of a team not wanting to lose their No. 1 ranking.
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