No. 1 Virginia was down 10 points with 4:28 to go at Louisville on Thursday. The Cardinals badly needed this win to help their NCAA Tournament resume, entering the game as one of the last four teams in the field, according to our latest projection.
The Cavaliers — also known as the ‘Hoos — just wouldn’t let them have it. Virginia pulled off one of the wildest comebacks you will ever see, erasing a four-point deficit in less than one second to rip Louisville’s heart out and absolutely steal a 67-66 road win.
De’Andre Hunter hit the game-winning three at the buzzer, but this ending was so much more dramatic than that. This was so cruel and so ruthless that only Virginia could pull it off. UVA has made a lifestyle brand out of sucking the life from a building, but it’s never been as crushing as this.
A game this nutty deserves a proper appreciation. Louisville fans may want to look away.
No. 1 Virginia was down 4 with under a second to go ... and won.— ESPN (@espn) March 2, 2018
Yep, it’s officially March. pic.twitter.com/yZR0OtFyTv
It started when Virginia was fouled on a three-pointer down four with 0.9 seconds left.
There’s one thing you can’t do if you’re Louisville in this situation: foul. Of course, that’s exactly what Cardinals freshman Darius Perry did as Ty Jerome launched a three-pointer with the ‘Hoos down four with under one second left.
If Louisville just lets Jerome take the shot unimpeded, it’s almost certainly coming away with the victory. If Louisville just is a phrase Cards fans are going to be repeating for a while after this one.
Jerome makes the first two free throws. The third is canceled out by a Virginia lane violation.
Congrats to Mamadi Diakite on the greatest lane violation in Virginia history. Without it, Louisville probably wins.
Are you sensing a trend yet?
Louisville then travels on inbounds pass and turns it over.
All the Cardinals had to do was correctly inbound the ball. Deng Adel did not do that.
In a deadball situation under his own basket, Adel tried to run the baseline as UVA pressed. He was called for traveling. Suddenly, the ‘Hoos had one more chance.
De’Andre Hunter banked in three-pointer from NBA range to win it for Virginia.
What a moment. For Virginia fans, at least.
"IT'S OFF THE BACKBOARD AND GOOD! De'Andre Hunter with the prayer answered here in Louisville, Kentucky!" - @wahoovoice as @UVAMensHoops stuns #Louisville— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) March 2, 2018
Hoos win! #GoHoos #Wahoowa pic.twitter.com/hMW0AAVtE4
If you thought the divine beings in the sky controlling sports were already brutal enough to Louisville fans ... you were wrong. You were so very wrong.
This is what it looked like in text form.
This is what the win probability looked like in graph form.
Win probability? Or the heart rate monitor I was hooked to? pic.twitter.com/YzEESweLl2— The Appendix (@Londonsappendix) March 2, 2018
Hunter: “I knew it was hitting the backboard. I didn’t know if it was going in, though.”
De'Andre Hunter on the shot: “I knew I had to shoot it. I knew if I got it I had to shoot it,” Hunter said. “I knew it was hitting the backboard. I didn’t know if it was going in though.”— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) March 2, 2018
Is he saying he called glass? Or knew his shot was so off that he was hitting glass on accident?
Hunter is possibly going to be ACC Sixth Man of the Year. He has a chance to be an NBA first-round draft pick one day. For as talented as he is, this sounds like he’s admitting it was blind luck.
Virginia finishes a perfect 9-0 on the road in the ACC.
#UVA becomes first program in history to go 9-0 on the road in the ACC. Duke had gone 8-0 in 2011-12.— Gene Wang (@gene_wang) March 2, 2018
Since the ACC moved to an 18-game schedule in 2012-13, no one had ever gone 9-0 on the road. Virginia just did that.
Louisville fans are comparing this to Bill Buckner’s 1986 World Series gaffe.
#Louisville radio analyst Bob Valvano, who has seen a few games, called U of L's 67-66 loss to Virginia "the worst loss I've ever seen." I was at the Buckner game, and he might be right.— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) March 2, 2018
Just one of the most famous screw-ups in sports history. No biggie.
THERE ARE SO MANY SAD LOUISVILLE PHOTOS.
We’ll give Mike the last word.
Whatever I was already dead inside— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) October 14, 2017