Louisville had a chance to all but seal its NCAA Tournament fate, leading No. 1 Virginia by four points with one second left on Thursday night, but let it get away in the most bewildering final sequence we might see all month.
The Cardinals led by five, 64-59, with 11 seconds left then Ty Jerome hit a 3-pointer to keep hope alive for a Virginia team that was off all night on jump shots and had trailed Louisville since early in the first half. Tony Bennett called timeout, Louisville's Darius Perry was fouled quickly and then went to the line and made both free throws.
The score was 66-62 with six seconds left to play. Perry fouled Ty Jerome on a 3-point attempt with two seconds left, making it seem all the more likely that Louisville was going to pull off the upset. Jerome hit the first two free throws and then, if you would believe it, Virginia was whistled for a lane violation.
Louisville ball, less than two seconds left, leading 66-64. The KFC Yum! Center was rocking and the night where everything had gone the Cards' way appeared to be wrapping up nicely for their NCAA Tournament hopes.
But then Deng Adel got called for traveling on the inbounds pass. Virginia ball, under the basket, with a chance to tie or win in the final 0.9 seconds.
De'Andre Hunter got the look, and he buried the shot for the most unlikely last-minute comeback we've seen all season.
Look at the clock.— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 2, 2018
Look at that pass.
De'Andre Hunter seals it for UVA with this kiss!pic.twitter.com/0Hpy8FUI8K
Virginia won 67-66, Louisville remains on the bubble and the Cavaliers may have wrapped up a No. 1 seed by avoiding the loss.
It was by far the worse collapse imaginable for a Louisville program that has had a bumpy couple of weeks. According to the win probability, the Cards had a 95.2 percent chance to win the game with six seconds left.
So now Louisville goes from being 95.2 percent certain that it will be in the NCAA Tournament to likely needing multiple wins in the ACC Tournament to avoid a sweaty Selection Sunday with their postseason future in doubt.