I’m not sure any of us will ever experience a regular season loss as painful as the one we just witnessed. If we do, I don’t even want to think about what it would look like.
Despite a number of head-scratching mistakes, Louisville still led Virginia by four points with 0.9 seconds to play. The Cavaliers won the game in regulation.
All U of L had to do in order pull off the biggest win of the 2017-18 season was to lie down on the floor, not go near any Virginia players, and let the clock run out. Instead, Darius Perry fouled UVA’s Ty Jerome on a three-point attempt.
If Jerome missed either of his first two free-throw attempts, the game would still have effectively been over. Jerome drilled both.
Still, with only 0.9 seconds to play, the worst case scenario for Louisville was a last-second tip-in that would send the game to overtime. Virginia committed a lane violation.
So long as Deng Adel inbounded the ball and it stayed within the court of play, enough time would have run off the clock to end the game. Adel inexplicably tried to run the baseline and committed a traveling violation.
Still, even after all this, all Louisville needed to do was not let Virginia get a clean look at the basket and play a decent 0.9 seconds of defense. Adel lost De’Andre Hunter, who banked in a 26-foot game-winner at the buzzer.
Every time you think it can’t possibly get any worse, it does.
Louisville now needs to find some way to claw its way out of the depths of hell or it’s going to miss the NCAA tournament.
I don’t know what else to say. Outside of the tournament, this is as bad as a loss can feel.