#4 Virginia dominates #11 Louisville with defense
Total. Over 80 minutes.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Virginia. They’re a team that is fun to prepare for, fun to watch,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whose season ended Saturday night with a 68-46 loss to UVA.
The 11th-ranked Cardinals had wins over North Carolina and Duke in 2016, but they were outclassed twice by Virginia, which won 63-47 at the Yum! Center on Jan. 30.
In that one, Louisville scored 14 points in the first half, and shot 32.7 percent from the floor for the game.
Saturday night, UL scored 17 points in the first half, and shot 27.6 percent from the field for the game.
This from a team that averaged 75.0 points per game and shot 46.9 percent from the floor.
It took the Cardinals 9:18 to get their first make from the field. That cut the Virginia lead to nine after a 13-1 start.
Louisville would never get closer than nine the rest of the way.
The game was, in effect, over by the first media timeout.
Pitino’s team won’t be competing in the postseason because of the school’s self-imposed ban due to an ongoing NCAA investigation into improprieties involving a former assistant coach.
He told reporters after the game that he sees UVA as a favorite in next week’s ACC Tournament.
“They have a legitimate chance, because of their experience, the way they shoot the ball, the way they shoot free throws, the way they play defense, of doing a lot of great things in the tournament,” Pitino said.
– Story by Chris Graham