Louisville played some of its best basketball of the season in the final 15 minutes to run away with a 68-52 Senior Night victory over Virginia Tech inside the KFC Yum Center on Sunday.
We could start by talking about Jordan Nwora kicking off a March that is hopefully old school for the haterzzzz. We could start by talking about Ryan McMahon leaving the Yum Center with scorched nets for a final time. But I think we have to start off with the video of one of the coolest Senior Day moments in the history of Cardinal basketball.
This was the first made field goal of Keith Oddo’s Louisville career:
This was so awesome. Keith Oddo forever. pic.twitter.com/aJuh6fSpXl— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 2, 2020
The find by DJ, the purity of the shot, the collective reaction, the sprint to the other end of the floor.
Man, what a way to kick off March.
Speaking of kicking off March the right way, Nwora was sensational in his final U of L home game, notching his 15th career double-double with 20 points and 12 rebound, both game-highs. He achieved the double-double with 12:10 to play in the second half.
Also playing their final home games, Dwayne Sutton (8 points, 9 rebounds) and Steven Enoch (8 points, 11 rebounds) flirted with joining Nwora in the double-double crowd. But the only other Cardinal to hit double figures in scoring was McMahon, who knocked down two of his three attempts from beyond the arc on his way to a 10-point, three assist performance.
Fresh Kimble, the only departing Cardinal we haven’t mentioned, did the bulk of his damage on the defensive end, where he recorded a season-high three steals. He also scored five points.
Virginia Tech entered Sunday leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game at just over nine a contest. Louisville, one of the worst teams in the ACC when it comes to turning their opponents over, forced the Hokies into 16 giveaways.
While we’re on the topic of 16, that’s now the number of consecutive times Louisville has defeated Virginia Tech.
Louisville's active series winning streaks:— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) March 2, 2020
16 - Virginia Tech
15 - Eastern Kentucky
12 - Bellarmine
11 - Georgetown College
11 - Kentucky Wesleyan
10 - DePaul
10 - Drake
10 - Murray State
10 - Rutgers
10 - Tampa
9 - Louisiana-Lafayette
8 - Hanover
8 - Western Kentucky
The Hokies haven’t gotten the better of the Cards since February of 1991.
The first half was a choppy one on offense for Louisville, and it certainly looked like the emotions of the Senior Day festivities had an effect on the team’s play for the first several minutes. Aside from that, though, there’s not much to feel bad about.
The Cards played one of their most complete defensive games of the season, Nwora had his best game in weeks, David Johnson had eight points and six assists despite playing limited minutes, and if that video of the game’s final minutes is any indication, team camaraderie is at an all-time high heading into the season’s most crucial weeks.
A kiss on the Cardinal bird for the Louisville seniors. pic.twitter.com/syp2cAUWIo— Dominique Yates (@RealDYates) March 2, 2020
Let’s go win a regular season conference championship in six days. It’s time.