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No. 22 Virginia knocks off No. 10 Louisville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Kihei Clark scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, and No. 22 Virginia recovered after blowing a 14-point second half lead to beat No. 10 Louisville 57-54 on Saturday.

The Cavaliers (23-7, 15-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the 10th time in 11 games and moved into a tie with the Cardinals for second place in the league standings, leaving the door open for No. 7 Florida State to claim the title with a victory over Boston College.

Mamadi Diakite added 17 points and eight rebounds for Virginia in his final game at John Paul Jones Arena. Jay Huff scored 11 points and blocked a shot from in close by Steven Enoch with 51 seconds and grabbed the rebound.

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Jordan Nwora had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Enoch scored 11 points for the Cardinals (24-7, 15-5). They lost for the second time in three games, but not before making it very interesting.

The Cavaliers used a 27-8 run spanning halftime to open a 40-28 lead with just under 15 minutes to play, but the Nwora scored the first 10 points in a 16-6 burst that pulled them even at 51 with 5:11 left. Ryan McMahon and Darius Perry hit 3-pointers to end the burst, the latter Perry’s only field goal of the game.

Diakite’s free throw broke the tie, and after Louisville Missed, Clark made a 3-pointer, setting off a celebration. The Cardinals only points the rest of the way came on a 3-point by Samuell Williamson with 0.03 seconds left.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville: The Cardinals made four 3-pointers in a span of 3:24, fueling a 14-2 run that gave them a 16-8 lead with 11 minutes left. They didn’t make another 3 until there was 9:56 left in the second half on their 17th attempt overall.

Virginia: The only blemish for the Cavaliers in their final dozen regular season games came in an 80-73 loss at Louisville on Feb. 8. At the time, it represented both their highest scoring total of the season and the highest total they had allowed. … Louisville’s scoring low before Saturday was 57 points against Texas Tech, the team Virginia beat in last year’s national championship game, on Dec. 10.

UP NEXT

Both teams will open play in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, in the quarterfinals Thursday.

No. 11 Louisville gets OT win at Pitt

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PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh forward Terrell Brown thought he had a game-tying tip-in with 21 seconds to play, but he was called for a foul on the play.

That allowed for No. 11 Louisville to escape Pitt’s upset bid with a 72-68 overtime victory on Tuesday night.

Pitt guard Trey McGowens’ driving layup attempt bounced off the rim, and Brown put it back, appearing to tie the game, but he was whistled for an over-the-back foul against Louisville’s Malik Williams.

Williams hit both free throws to put Louisville up by two possessions, securing the final margin of victory.

Louisville star junior Jordan Nwora was limited by Pitt’s defense, leading the Cardinals with 14 points, which tied for his second-smallest output of the season.

Dwayne Sutton, who finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, and David Johnson, who scored 11, picked up the slack for Louisville.

Pitt led for over 33 minutes, but never by more than nine points. The entire second half was a back and forth affair, with the Cardinals gradually closing the gap. Louisville tied the game at 61 with under a minute remaining on a Johnson free throw.

McGowens led an unexpected offensive charge from Pitt, which shot 48% from the floor in the first half. He finished 8 of 22 for 24 points. Xavier Johnson added 11 points and five assists.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville: The Cardinals’ pack-line defense is unquestionable one of the team’s strengths. They entered eighth in the country with an opponent field goal percentage of 36.7. The Panthers found gaps and also made 26 trips to the free-throw line. The Cardinals are now 2-2 this season when allowing 20 or more opponent free-throw attempts.

Pitt: The Panthers’ roller-coaster season continues. They hold wins over top opponents like Florida State, North Carolina and Rutgers and have losses to Nicholls State and Wake Forest. After a sloppy loss to Miami on Sunday, Pitt turned around quickly to turn in a solid performance against the No. 11 Cardinals on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Louisville: Continues a season-long three game road swing with a trip to No. 3 Duke on Saturday.

Pitt: Will host North Carolina on Saturday. The Panthers beat the Tar Heels, 73-65 in North Carolina on Jan. 8.

Late run helps No. 3 Louisville beat Miami Of Ohio 70-46

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  — Jordan Nwora scored 20 points and No. 3 Louisville pulled away with a 17-0 run to beat Miami of Ohio 70-46 on Wednesday night.

Ryan McMahon added 11 points for Louisville (11-1), and Dwayne Sutton tied a career-high with 15 rebounds.

Mekhi Lairy led the Redhawks (5-6) with 10 points.

While the Cardinals never trailed, it was much closer than the final score indicated. Louisville used a 14-2 first-half run to take a 12-point lead, but the Redhawks cut it to 28-25 on Dalonte Brown’s dunk 1:10 into the second half.

Miami trailed just 44-40 with 9:02 left after Josh Brewer’s 3-pointer. The Cardinals used the 17-0 run over the next 5:17 to finally put away the pesky Redhawks.

The Cardinals won despite shooting just 39.7%, the third time in the last five games they failed to break 40%. Nwora had his eighth 20-point game of the season. He was 7 of 17 from the floor.

BIG PICTURE

Miami of Ohio: Facing their toughest test of the season, the Redhawks tried to slow down the more athletic Cardinals, and for a while it appeared to work. However, shooting a season-worst 27.3%, which included making just 6-of-33 3-pointers, doomed the chances for an upset.

Louisville: Defensively, Louisville looked every bit the dominant team, forcing Miami into taking too many contested and forced jumpers. The Cardinals also enjoyed a 54-40 rebounding advantage. Offensively, though, the Cardinals looked out of sync for first 31 minutes against a smaller foe, as they finished with just 11 assists on 25 baskets. With the competition only getting tougher from here, it could prove problematic for Chris Mack’s team.

UP NEXT

Miami of Ohio: Hosts Bradley on Saturday.

Louisville: At Kentucky on Dec. 28.

Tuesday’s Things to Know: Three of eight unbeaten teams lose, including No. 1 Louisville

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It wasn’t supposed to be a particularly eventful Tuesday night in college basketball. Things changed quickly as three of the eight unbeatens in the sport lost — two of them to unranked teams. Here’s a look at how the Jimmy V Classic, a top-25 clash and a Big Ten upset shook up the sport once again.

Texas Tech knocks off No. 1 Louisville in Madison Square Garden

For the third time in four weeks, the No. 1 team in the country lost to an unranked team on Tuesday night.

This time, it was No. 1 Louisville who fell victim to the Tuesday No. 1 Team Curse. Texas Tech knocked off the Cardinals, 70-57, at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Even without dynamic freshman guard Jah’mius Ramsey, the Red Raiders clamped down on defense, forcing 19 turnovers and limiting Louisville to 39 percent shooting.

CBT’s Rob Dauster was at MSG for this one and he has plenty more. Texas Tech also had an exuberant celebration postgame.

Penn State upsets No. 4 Maryland for Big Ten home win

While No. 1 was losing at the Garden, previously-unbeaten No. 4 Maryland was falling to the Nittany Lions. A sloppy first half and five double-figure scorers for Penn State gave them a 76-69 win over the Terps.

Building up a 10-point halftime lead, the Nittany Lions beat a ranked Maryland team at home for the second straight year. It’s the type of win that can give an unproven Penn State program a major shot in the arm. Maryland, meanwhile, continues to show some concerning signs for a top-10 team.

I examined more on this one here, including Maryland’s propensity for slow starts and silly turnovers.

No. 11 Baylor holds off No. 18 Butler

As if those two games weren’t enough, No. 18 Butler suffered its first loss of the season in Waco. Baylor held off a late push from the Bulldogs to earn a 53-52 non-conference win.

A balanced effort on offense and a strong defensive effort was the difference for the Bears in this one. Baylor made Butler senior guard Kamar Baldwin work all night as he was limited to 16 points on 9-for-24 shooting.

The Bears have quietly earned top-20 home wins over Arizona and Butler over the last few days as they’ve been one of the most impressive teams in the country during non-conference play.

Nwora leads No. 4 Louisville past Indiana State 91-62

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jordan Nwora scored 21 points, Dwayne Sutton added 14 and No. 4 Louisville shot 59% from the field to run past Indiana State 91-62 on Wednesday night.

Two days after moving up a spot in the AP Top 25, the Cardinals (3-0) made 14 of their first 17 shots for a 16-point lead through 11 minutes on the way to a 47-26 advantage at the break. Nwora’s 14 points, including a pair of 3s got Louisville going, and Sutton had 10 before the break.

Nwora, a junior forward, finished 5 of 10 shooting for his third consecutive game of 20 points or more. Sutton and Steven Enoch each grabbed 10 rebounds as Louisville owned the glass 42-21. The Cardinals shot above 50% for the third consecutive game.

Tyreke Key led the Sycamores (0-2) with 20 points including four 3-pointers, two of which came during a 14-2 early second-half run that got them within 51-40. They got no closer as Louisville quickly answered to stretch the lead above 20 as it shot 58% in the final 20 minutes.

Indiana State shot 34% in its only game this season against a Power Five opponent. The Sycamores haven’t beaten a ranked opponent since topping Butler 72-71 in December 2016.

BIG PICTURE

Indiana State: After making two of their first three baskets, the Sycamores were no match physically against Louisville’s taller lineup. Perimeter shooting was a bright spot as they extended their streak to 345 games with at least one 3-pointer.

Louisville: The Cardinals seemingly couldn’t miss at the start and stayed hot throughout. They never let up even after the outcome was settled.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Cardinals took a step toward remaining in the top five with another game to play this week.

UP NEXT

Indiana State faces Ball State on Sunday in Indianapolis.

Louisville hosts North Carolina Central on Sunday in the third of a four-game homestand.

Nwora scores 23 to lead No. 5 Louisville past Miami 87-74

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Jordan Nwora went 4 for 6 from beyond the arc, and from above the basket he didn’t miss.

Nwora threw in a dunk — literally — to go with his outside shooting, and totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday to help the fifth-ranked Cardinals win their season opener at Miami, 87-74.

The Cardinals are touted as a potential Final Four team, and they lived up to the hype with a rout on the road against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Louisville led 72-40 before Miami rallied during garbage time.

Nwora, the preseason ACC player of the year, brought the Louisville bench to its feet when he leaped to make a one-handed catch and dunk in one motion on Ryan McMahon’s alley-oop pass.

“I actually did not think he was going to be able to catch it,” McMahon said. “I thought it was too bad of a pass. Somehow he snatched it out of the air and just threw it in the rim. He’s a freak athlete. It was a real cool play.”

Coach Chris Mack was more reserved in his review of the dunk.

“I don’t rate those things,” Mack said. “I’m just glad he didn’t miss it. I would have made him run sprints.”

The 6-foot-7 Nwora shot 8 for 16 and scored most of his points from the perimeter.

“Every time we left him open, even for a split second, he buried a 3,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

McMahon, a Florida native, sank three consecutive 3-pointers as Louisville scored 17 consecutive points during a four-minute span in the first half and never looked back.

McMahon scored 16 points and shot 4 for 7 from beyond the arc.

“He’s an elite-level shooter — as good as anybody in the country,” Mack said.

Freshman Samuell Williamson made his Louisville debut with 13 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes.

“He doesn’t look like a freshman on offense,” Mack said.

Dwayne Sutton contributed 16 points for the Cardinals, who shot 54%.

Chris Lykes had 18 points and DJ Vasiljevic scored 16 for the Hurricanes.

“We need to make progress in all areas,” Larranaga said.

He sent three freshmen into the game early in the first half, and they helped the Hurricanes score eight consecutive points to lead 16-9.

The Cardinals answered with their big run to surge ahead 26-16. A 9-0 run late in the half helped to make it 45-26 at halftime.

“We came out with some jitters, and once we settled down we were a little bit more comfortable,” McMahon said.

BIG PICTURE

The crowd included actor Bill Murray, whose son is a Louisville assistant coach, and 18 NBA scouts from 13 teams. The scouts saw plenty to like from the Cardinals, who return six of the top seven scorers from last season’s NCAA tournament squad.

Defense remains a problem for the Hurricanes, who last season allowed opponents to shoot 45% and average 71 points, the worst numbers in Larranaga’s eight years at Miami.

INJURY REPORT

Louisville junior forward Malik Williams (foot) and freshman guard David Johnson (shoulder) are still recovering from offseason injuries.

Miami’s Keith Stone, a 6-foot-8 graduate transfer from Florida, sat out while he continues to recover from an ACL injury. The Hurricanes hope he can return in January.

DOUBLEHEADER

Cardinals fans made up a large portion of the crowd of 7,576. Louisville will try for a sweep of the Hurricanes when it plays at Miami in football Saturday.

“We did our part,” Mack said.

UP NEXT

Louisville plays its home opener Sunday against Youngstown State in the first meeting between the two schools.

Miami hosts Florida Atlantic on Friday. The Hurricanes are 23-1 in the series, with their lone loss in December 2002.