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The Virginia enigma continues: Cavs take down Cards, 61-53

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

In a performance that Louisville fans had seen before but hoped to never see again, Rick Pitino's Cardinals had zero answer for Virginia's vaunted pack line defense and were dealt a humbling 61-53 loss Wednesday night at the KFC Yum Center.

The Cavaliers never trailed in the game, which began with UVA scoring 12 of the contest's first 14 points. Louisville trimmed that lead to 20-14 with seven minutes to play in the first half, but never got closer than six. A late flurry is the only thing that kept the final score respectable, as U of L trailed by as many as 21 in the second half.

Louisville shot a respectable 43.2 percent from the floor, but was a woeful 2-of-14 from beyond the arc and misfired on nine of their 22 free-throw attempts. The Cardinals were also surprisingly outrebounded by a final margin of 31-26.

The win marked the ninth-straight victory in an ACC opener for Virginia, and just the second time in the last nine years that Louisville has been defeated in its conference opener.

I'm not sure what else to say. That sucked, all Virginia games suck (except one), and it seems more likely than not that Feb. 6 in Charlottesville is going to suck.

Maybe this was a necessary return to earth for a team that got too high after the Kentucky win. Something like that shouldn't need to happen, but maybe it did. I don't know. All I know is that Louisville now has to turn its complete focus to a super talented Indiana team that was humbled even more than the Cardinal were on Wednesday, and which will head to Indianapolis just as hungry for a bounceback win.

Here's your final box score, featuring just one double digit scorer: