It’s the last game of the regular season for the #10 Louisville Cardinals, and so much is still on the line.
Whether the ACC regular season title is held by one or more teams and the seeding for the conference tournament can all go a bunch of different ways depending on who wins and loses this weekend. The Cards could only control one thing, whether they win in a rematch against #22 Virginia.
It was not to be, however, as Louisville ended their season with a 57-54 loss.
The Cards broke the Cavalier Curse, beating Virginia at home 80-73. Both teams went on very different trajectories since that matchup. While Louisville has struggled with a 3-3 record, the Cavs have won every single game and may be the hottest team in the ACC right now.
The game was close early until Louisville went on a 14-2 run to get a eight-point lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. Virginia battled back and regained the lead in the final minutes of the half and scored 11 of the last 13 points to go into halftime up 31-24.
Steven Enoch scored 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
The second half didn’t go nearly as well for the Cards, as the Cavaliers increased their lead to as much as 14 about seven minutes in. Louisville wasn’t out of it yet, fighting back with a 19-6 run to tie the game at 51 with five minutes left in the game.
There was hardly any scoring in the final five minutes, but the Cavaliers did most of it. Virginia scored six straight points to get six-point lead with three seconds left.
Samuell Williamson managed to hit a three for the Cards, but it was too little, too late and the Cavaliers were victorious.
Turnovers were a big issue for Louisville. The Cards turned it over 13 times, which Virginia converted into 16 points.
There was also a large free-throw disparity. Louisville was called for 16 fouls while the Cavs were only called for seven, which mean Virginia shot more than twice as many free throws as the Cards.
Jordan Nwora had a double-double for the game, leading the team in points with 18 and rebounds with 11.
Steven Enoch was the only other Louisville player in double-figures with 11-points, although he didn’t score any in the first half.
Malik Williams, who had sat out last game with an ankle injury, saw limited minutes in this contest, grabbing one rebound and getting one turnover in seven minutes of play.
Louisville ends their regular season with a 24-7 record (15-5 ACC). Virginia finishes with a 23-7 record (15-5 ACC).
The ACC tournament seeding and bracket have yet to be determined. But the Cards will be playing their first game sometime next week.<