WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — John Collins had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help Wake Forest rally from 14 down to upset No. 8 Louisville 88-81 on Wednesday night.
Keyshawn Woods added 20 points for the Demon Deacons (17-12, 8-9 Atlantic Coast Conference), who came into the game desperately needing a big win to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.
They got it, with Dinos Mitoglou and Mitchell Wilbekin hitting back-to-back huge 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes to turn a 75-72 lead into a nine-point margin.
Wake Forest is trying to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.
Deng Adel scored 22 points for the Cardinals (23-7, 11-6), who got off to a fast start but shot just 39 percent after halftime. They also struggled to slow the Demon Deacons once their offense got rolling, with Wake Forest shooting 46 percent and making 10 of 24 3-pointers.
This one ended with Wake Forest fans storming the court to celebrate.
Collins, a sophomore who has made himself a candidate for ACC player of the year, finished 7 of 12 from the field and 11 of 12 from the foul line to earn his 12th straight 20-point performance.
Wake Forest trailed 41-30 late in the first half but used a 20-4 run spanning halftime to take its first lead — and eventually pushed it to 11. Louisville got as close as three before Mitoglou and Wilbekin’s huge 3s.
Louisville: The Cardinals made 12 of their first 20 shots, but 17 of 41 (41 percent) the rest of the game and couldn’t keep pace with Wake Forest’s confident attack.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons entered this game at 1-9 against RPI top-50 teams after failing to close out several close game, and also with the same number of league wins they had managed the past two seasons combined. Closing this one out is a huge boost for third-year coach Danny Manning’s program.
Louisville: The Cardinals host No. 19 Notre Dame in Saturday’s regular-season finale.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons close the regular season Saturday at Virginia Tech.