Saturday, the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers head to the KFC Yum! Center to take on the Louisville Cardinals in their penultimate road game. It’s the 10th meeting between the two teams, and it got us thinking about the previous games since the Cards joined the ACC in the 2014-15 season. Virginia is 8-1 since Louisville was assigned as the Hoos’ perma-rival by the league, and some of the games were prettttty good. Let’s take a look:
9. 2015 - No. 16 Louisville 59, No. 2 Virginia 57
Believe it or not, this is Virginia’s lone loss in nine games with the Cardinals. It’s Virginia’s only loss at the KFC Yum! Center in the series so far, and it took a mid-range jumper from Mangok Mathiang to get the upset win.
8. 2017 - No. 12 Virginia 61, No. 6 Louisville 53
This one is one of the two upsets for the Hoos over the Cards in 2017, but Virginia had to hold on down the stretch to secure the win as Louisville cut a 21-point lead to nine with just under four minutes remaining.
7. 2017 - No. 9 Virginia 71, No. 4 Louisville 55
The Hoos trailed by two at the half, but got a good, old-fashioned 22-5 Cavalanche to take control and get the win at home. London Perrantes had 18 points in the win, and Isaiah Wilkins added 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The Cards were down to just seven scholarship players (Deng Adel and Mathiang were suspended), but a win’s a win.
6. 2016 - No. 11 Virginia 63, No. 16 Louisville 47
Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill led the Hoos with 13 points apiece as Virginia cruised to an easy win. Virginia led by 15 at the half, more than the 14 total points the Cardinals scored in the first 20 minutes. Just a good butt kicking.
5. 2018 - No. 2 Virginia 74, Louisville 64
Virginia was without Nigel Johnson in this game, and got a solid performance out of Marco Anthony (10 points in 18 minutes). This was probably the best Louisville has played in one of these matchups (start to finish), and they actually scored over 20 points in the first half in this one. Virginia moved to 10-0 in the ACC with this home win.
4. 2015 - No. 3 Virginia 52, No. 9 Louisville 47
While it’s not a dominant win, it’s the win that set the standard in the first meeting between the two teams as ACC competitors. Louisville scored just 13 points in the first half, including none in the final 10+ minutes. Now-NBA player Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell had no idea what to do with the Pack Line and the Cards scored just 0.85 PPP and turned it over 13 times.
3. 2018 - No. 1 Virginia 75, Louisville 58
ACC tournament games will always get a little bit of a bump just because of what’s on the line. Last season, the Hoos faced the Cards in their first game of the ACC tournament just one week after Virginia ripped their hearts out (more on that in a minute). Louisville got out to a lead before the Hoos took over, but the Cards didn’t go away without a fight. After closing to within four in the second half, the Hoos finished strong and coasted to the 17-point win and the ACC semifinals.
2. 2016 - No. 4 Virginia 68, No. 11 Louisville 46
This is the Mike Tobey “reckless abandon” game. I’m a sap for Senior Day breakout games, and the 15 point, 16 rebound performance from Tobey is up there. It was the final game at JPJ for Tobey, Evan Nolte, Anthony Gill, and Malcolm Brogdon. The Hoos led by 12 at the half and never let up as the game was capped with a three from the corner from fourth-year Caid Kirven. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
0.9. 2018 - No. 1 Virginia 67, Louisville 66
Is there any surprise here? Did I put this whole list together just to watch this video again 50 times? Maybe. Ok, yes. BUT OMG THIS GAME. The lead up to the final 0.9 seconds was dramatic and intense, but nothing tops The Shot from De’Andre Hunter.
Here’s the baseline angle:
So much was at stake in this game as Louisville needed a marquee win for its NCAA hopes and Virginia was hoping to keep its No. 1 ranking and perfect ACC road record intact. The full highlights are definitely worth a watch:
Coach Bennett, Jack Salt, and Kyle Guy re-lived the comeback at ACC Media Day this year, remarking on just how improbable it was.
The Hoos and Cards tip off at noon on Saturday, and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.