LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVY) – Ever since its second-leading scorer and All-American candidate Justin Anderson went down with a broken pinky (and now an appendectomy) Virginia had found ways to win games. And it seemed like they’d done it again on the road at no. 16 Louisville.
That is until Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang, who had hit just one field goal his last nine games, nailed a straight-away jumper from just outside the free-throw line with 2.7 seconds to go, giving the Cardinals a 58-57 lead, and ultimately, a 59-57 win.
“Mangok was our 64th option,” quipped Cardinal head coach Rick Patino afterward.
As for Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers, who already locked up the no. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament, they let slip away what would have been a 29-1 regular season record (the best in school history) and a 17-1 conference mark (the best in ACC history).
Just before Mathiang’s miracle make, Malcolm Brogdon (17 points, 6 rebounds) nailed a clutch three-pointer from the corner right in front of his own bench, giving the Hoos a 57- 56 lead with just :09 seconds left to play.
As the no. 1 seed next week, the Cavaliers get a double-bye and will play the winner of Clemson-Florida State on Thursday at 12:00.