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Late mistakes once again doom Louisville in 70-63 loss at North Carolina

It was a story Cardinal fans have seen play out a few times before Monday night.

Louisville v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Louisville battled all night to put itself in position to win a game it was supposed to lose, but the Cardinals failed to make the plays necessary down the stretch to secure a victory.

The latest installment of this seemingly never-ending series was a 70-63 loss at North Carolina Monday night.

With the Tar Heels leading, 64-63, and Louisville in control of the ball with under two minutes to play, the game essentially came down to four key possessions.

Louisville took a pair of unnecessary three-pointers too early in the shot clock from a 23.2 percent three-point shooter and a 28.7 percent three-point shooter. North Carolina, meanwhile, got a clean baseline jumper for its best shooter, Brady Manek, and an uncontested dunk for star center Armando Bacot.

There’s both tonight’s game and what feels like seven or eight games we’ve already been tortured by earlier in the season.

I suppose it’s hard to be overly distraught here. The coaches and players are battling at a time when others could and would easily justify doing the opposite, and that’s really all we can ask for. At the same time, the decision-making consistently employed by this group, especially at key moments, is just .... not what we’re used to seeing as Louisville basketball fans.

After what happened at the Yum Center three weeks ago, this would would have been awfully sweet.

Alas ...