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No. 1 Virginia vs Louisville: How did the Hoos manage to pull off its epic comeback?

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Ok, but seriously...how did that happen?

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night, the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers pulled off one of the most epic and improbable comebacks in college basketball, trumping the Louisville Cardinals on a De’Andre Hunter buzzer beater, 67-66.

This was the win probability chart from the game:

So how did the Hoos snatch a victory from the desperate Cards on the road, on Senior Night?

Let’s take a look at some big moments in the 2nd half:

12:46 remaining, Louisville leads 46-33

Deng Adel made a three, giving Louisville a 13 point lead, which matched their biggest lead in the first half.

10:52 remaining, Louisville leads 46-36

Ty Jerome hits a three after the Cardinals miss two three-point attempts. The bucket was Jerome’s second made shot, and his first of the second half. Before this point, he had just three points in the game.

10:10 remaining, Louisville leads 50-38

Ray Spalding scores, pushing the lead back to 12. Mamadi Diakite had balanced out two Adel free throws with a jumper, but Adel found Spalding trailing the play under the basket to keep the pressure on the top-ranked Hoos.

6:39 remaining, Louisville leads 56-46

The Hoos got within eight twice thanks to layups from Kyle Guy and Jerome, but free throws allowed Louisville to keep their 10 point cushion.

4:12 remaining, Louisville leads 56-49

Yep, reading that right. No one scored for 2:27 before DeAndre Hunter hit his first shot of the game, a three from the wing. Just before that, at the 4:24 mark, Jack Salt was called for an off-ball foul. Spalding missed both, giving the Hoos a glimmer of hope. Up until that point, Hunter was 0-for-5 from the field.

3:47 remaining, Louisville leads 58-49

Adel hits Louisville’s first field goal since Spalding’s bucket at the 10:10 mark. Still a single digit deficit for the Hoos, under four minutes to play.

3:07 remaining, Louisville leads 58-54

Now we’re cooking with gas. Virginia scored five points in 40 seconds (which feels like an eternity knowing what’s coming) thanks to layups by Guy and Jerome (who hit the free throw after the shooting foul) sandwiched around a steal on the defensive end by Jerome. NOW it’s a game.

2:02 remaining, TIED 58-58

Well, that escalated quickly. Louisville missed two shots and Devon Hall rebounded and went coast-to-coast to pull Virginia within a bucket with 2:37 left. Adel missed a jumper on the other end, and Ryan McMahon was called for a foul that sent Jerome to the line for two free throws. He sank both to tie it up.

1:09 remaining, Louisville leads 60-58

WHOOOOOOPS. A failed hand-off/pass at the mid-court led to a steal by McMahon and a layup by Spalding. Not ideal.

:38 remaining, Louisville leads 60-58

Oh, not good. Virginia can’t get a good look, leading to Hunter having to drive the baseline and getting called for an offensive foul. Louisville inbounds it to McMahon, who is fouled by Guy.

:11 remaining, Louisville leads 64-59

McMahon only makes one. Jerome is fouled, but also only makes one of two. McMahon is fouled again, and again, only makes one. Guy has two opportunities, but can’t connect or draw the foul, and Spalding drills both to give Louisville the five point lead. Things are not looking good.

:07 remaining, Louisville leads 64-62

We ain’t done yet. Jerome drives the lane, turns outside, dribbles with the left, gets the smallest bit of space, and squeezes off an incredibly tough three to keep the Hoos alive. I mean, look at this:

:0.9 remaining, Louisville leads 66-62

Freshman Darius Perry hits two clutch free throws with six seconds left on the clock to give the Cardinals a four point lead. The crowd thinks that’s it. They’ve knocked off No. 1. They got the marquee win they needed so badly.

But, wait. Jerome double-clutched a three, drawing contact from Perry. Jerome goes to the line.

:0.9 remaining, Louisville leads 66-63

Jerome makes the first.

:0.9 remaining, Louisville leads 66-64

Jerome makes the second (but oh god it bounced off of a lot of things).

:0.9 remaining, Louisville leads 66-64

Coach Bennett puts in the rangy Jay Huff and Diakite for tip-in purposes. Jerome intentionally misses the third, hoping for a rebound. It misses, but the whistle is blown for a lane violation - on Kyle Guy. Diakite was given the lane violation, but the more likely culprit is Guy, who stepped inside the three-point line too early. Louisville gets the ball on the baseline.

:0.9 remaining, Louisville leads 66-64

Adel is whistled for an inbounding violation as he runs the baseline when he’s not allowed. Virginia had no timeouts and got possession of the ball on the baseline under their basket. With :0.9 on the clock, there’s enough time per the rulebook for a catch and shoot.

0:00 remaining, VIRGINIA WINS 67-66

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HOW? DeAndre Hunter takes the inbounding pass from Jerome, launches it up, and banks in the game-winner off the backboard as time expires.

That’s a hell of a lot to happen in just under a second. Now, you can commemorate the best 0.9 seconds in college basketball with this exclusive STL teeshirt!

This capped a 13-point, 12:46 comeback, led by Ty Jerome with 18 points in the last 10:52 of the game. Virginia had just 46 points with just under four-and-a-half minutes left, going on to score 21 points down the stretch to cap the improbable comeback. Virginia shot 56% from the field and 67% from three in the second half and held the Cardinals to 36% and 22%, respectively.

With the win, the Hoos improved to 27-2 and 16-1 in the ACC. They became the first ever program to go a perfect 9-0 on the road in ACC play since they expanded to 18 conference games. Next up, No. 1 Virginia hosts Notre Dame on Saturday for Senior Day.