Louisville Basketball: Biggest keys to upsetting Virginia in ACC battle

Virginia's De'Andre Hunter finished with a career-high 26 points including 19 in the second half

Virginia's De'Andre Hunter finished with a career-high 26 points including 19 in the second half

The Cavaliers won 64-52 over the Cardinals at the KFC Yum!

De'Andre Hunter ranks fourth in field goal percentage (53%) and 14th in scoring (14.8). Huff put in 10 points off of the bench while Hunter was limited to just seven minutes after picking up two quick fouls. While they shut off the inside throughout the game, their patience in letting the Cardinals shoot themselves out paid off as they won on the boards 39-28 while dominating the paint 38-4.

But most of Hunter's work came inside the arc.

Louisville came back to cut Virginia's lead to three points at the end of the half, with sophomore guard Dana Evans finishing off a fast break with 12 seconds remaining.

Hunter thrived at Louisville for the second year in a row.

Mamadi Diakite scored 14 points while Jay Huff added 12 to complement Hunter as guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome were held to 12 total points on 4-for-20 shooting.

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Nwora was one of two Louisville players, who scored in double-digits.

After making 10 of 16 from long range in the first 20 minutes, Louisville managed just 2 of 17 afterward and lost for the fifth time in seven games. McMahon led the bench with his 12 points. On Louisville's ensuing possession, Diakite drew a charge on Nwora, even though Diakite's left heel was inside the charge circle.

The Cardinals only scored five points in the final eight minutes of the game.

Barring an epic collapse, Louisville should still earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament easily but the Cardinals have quickly fallen from their projection as a No. 4 seed in the Bracket Preview Show just two weeks ago. It's fair to wonder if Louisville's home loss to Duke has had a lingering effect on the Cardinals. Junior guard Jazmine Jones gave Louisville a lead they would not relinquish with 8:01 to play in the third. They almost blew a seven-point lead in the final 17 seconds of a one-point win at home against Clemson last Saturday.

That loss was obviously very disappointing for the Cardinals, yet it helped prove to them that they can compete with the top teams in the country, specifically Virginia.

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