The Virginia Cavaliers came out Saturday night with a fire and first-half intensity that had been missing the last time the Hoos faced a top-ten opponent at the JPJ. The energy carried Virginia to a 24-13 lead at halftime, and the 11-point lead held up against an improved Louisville performance in the second half.
Mike Tobey's presence in the starting lineup paid huge dividends for Tony Bennett's squad. The 7-footer scored all 9 of his points in the first half before foul trouble forced him to the bench in the second half. Malcolm Brogdon led Virginia with 15 points, while Louisville's Terry Rozier was the game-high scorer with 16.
Virginia improved to 9-1 in conference and 21-1 overall. The loss was Louisville's third in conference play, dropping them to 7-3 in the ACC.
The most important long-term news is a question mark about Justin Anderson's health for Virginia. The conference player-of-the-year candidate came out with his hand wrapped in the second half and did not play at all. ESPN showed several replays indicating that Anderson may have injured a finger when his hand got slapped going for a rebound.
Isaiah Wilkins also took a hard tumble in the second half when Louisville's Montrezl Harrell put a shoulder into Wilkins' ribs as Wilkins ran back on defense. The blindside shot sent Wilkins to the floor writhing in pain as Harrell laid in the ball uncontested. The officials reviewed the play during the injury timeout but allowed the play to stand.
Darion Atkins' presence on the interior made the difference throughout. Atkins contributed 9 points and 7 rebounds—along with two enormous blocks—to help contain Louisville's post players.
The win ends Virginia's trek through an ACC murderers' row. The Hoos return to action on Wednesday at N.C. State. Louisville heads home to host Pitt on Wednesday as well.