The 2018-2019 Louisville Men’s Basketball regular season has been one of high drama, of incredible highs and abyssal lows, of triumphant victories and agonizing defeats. In short, a regular Cardinal basketball season. And the current chapter ended with a rematch against #2 Virginia.
And while Louisville put up a much better late-game performance than their last outing, they still fell to the Cavaliers 73-68.
The teams last met just two weeks ago, but what seemed like an eternity for Cards fans. In what was a theme for the month of February, Louisville saw a double-digit lead transmogrified into a double-digit defeat in the span of a half.
Going into this game, the Cavaliers were one win away from the top-seed in the ACC tournament. And while the Cards’ postseason seeding is pretty much set, they were certainly looking to slay another college basketball giant to get some positive momentum and to show the conference and the nation that they still could.
Virginia got up to an eight-point lead with a little over 13 minutes to go in the first half, but otherwise the two teams stayed close for the first 20 minutes.
A Jordan Nwora three with six minutes left gave the Cards their first lead of the game, but the Cavaliers promptly went on a 10-0 run to get up by nine.
Louisville was able to score six straight points in the last 90 seconds of the half to head into halftime down 36-33.
Nwora had 10 points in the half.
In the second half, the Cards made their first five shots to get up to a seven-point lead before Virginia was able to battle back to tie it up again.
The teams were neck-and-neck after that, trading the lead several times as the game wore on.
The Cavaliers got up to a six-point lead with just under four minutes left. And while Louisville made a few baskets, they couldn’t close the gap and get the win.
While Virginia dominated the Cards inside in their last matchup, Louisville fared much better in this game, outrebounding the Cavaliers 40-31 and outscoring them in the paint 20-16.
Turnovers were an issue for the Cards, they had ten for the game which the Cavaliers turned into 17 points.
Nwora led Louisville with 19 points on 7-16 shooting.
Steven Enoch was the leading rebounder with 11 boards, and almost earned a double-double by scoring eight points.
Louisville finishes the regular season with a 19-12 record (10-8 ACC). Virginia moves to 28-2 (16-2 ACC).
The Cards now begin the postseason with a single-by in the ACC tournament. They are the seventh seed and will face the winner of Georgia Tech and Notre Dame on March 13.<
Chris Acree joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2016.