#1 Villanova beats #12 UVA at the buzzer, 61-59

uva basketballDonte DiVincenzo tipped in a Josh Hart miss as the buzzer sounded to lift #1 Villanova to a 61-59 win over #12 UVA on Sunday.

Virginia (16-4) had led by as many as 12 in the second half, but the defending national champion Wildcats, struggling from the field most of the way, were kept in the game by interesting officiating – hitting on 20-of-24 at the foul line, while the Cavs were just 3-of-3.

‘Nova finally got some shots outside of the charity stripe falling in a 13-0 run over a 4:33 stretch of the second half that put the ‘Cats on top, 50-49, fittingly on a pair of free throws by Jalen Brunson, who was 9-for-10 at the line on the afternoon.

It was a back-and-forth affair from there. A Brunson layup with 37 seconds left gave Villanova (20-2) a 59-57 lead.

UVA coach Tony Bennett decided against calling timeout, and freshman Ty Jerome, who finished with a career-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, worked the ball into the lane and hit a tough runner to tie the game at 59 with 17 seconds left.

Villanova coach Jay Wright called timeout with 11.5 seconds left, and set up a play for leading scorer Josh Hart, who drove past Devon Hall into the lane but missed a driving layup with just over a second to go.

DiVincenzo had a clean look at the tip, and the ball left his fingertip with a tenth of a second left before rolling around the rim and falling in as the final buzzer sounded.

The game officials reviewed the play on the TV monitor to confirm before finally counting the basket.

It was a disappointing loss for Virginia, which shot 50 percent from the field (25-of-50) and held ‘Nova to 42.5 percent shooting on the day (17-of-40), though the Wildcats did shoot a lights-out 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) in the second half.

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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