Virginia survived Purdue on Saturday in an overtime classic that will live on in March Madness lore. Just a year after losing to No. 16 seed Maryland-Baltimore County in the first round, the Cavaliers rewrote history by reaching the Final Four for the first time since 1984.
As Virginia guard Kyle Guy summed it up, “we made bad history last year. We’re making good history this year.”
Here’s a look at all the thrilling moments from the epic Elite Eight showdown:
1. Ty Jerome’s miss, Mamadi Diakite tip-out with five seconds left. Virginia looked like it was going to come up short, trailing 70-67 with 17 seconds left when Boilermakers coach Matt Painter smartly decided to foul and avoid a game-tying 3-pointer. That put Jerome at the line, who calmly made the first to slice the deficit to two. Then he missed the second one — claiming he “short-armed” the shot postgame — and it was Diakite who tipped the ball out off the miss to set up the game’s heroics on the ensuing play.
2. Kihei Clark’s ‘play of the century’ pass to Diakite for the buzzer-beater that forced overtime. Diakite tipped the ball way out past halfcourt, almost as if he knew there was only one speedy guard fast enough to get to it in time. Enter Clark, the team’s freshman point guard who darted past Purdue defenders to get the ball before one-arming a pinpoint pass to Diakite for the buzzer-beater that Jerome tabbed as “the play of the century” postgame.
*Side note: Watching 6-foot-10 big man Jack Salt jump up and down like a little kid after Diakite’s shot is March Madness at its finest.
3. Carsen Edwards from different area codes. The All-American guard was unconscious from 3-point range, draining 10 against UVA and setting an NCAA tournament record with 28 triples to become the first losing player to claim a Regional’s Most Outstanding Player since Steph Curry in 2008. Edwards’ 42 points against the nation’s best defense were masterful and several of his long-range jumpers were well beyond the NBA’s 3-point line. While he was unstoppable before overtime, his late three rimmed out in OT and a costly turnover kept Edwards’ legendary performance from lifting the Boilermakers to the Final Four.
4. Kyle Guy breaking out of shooting slump after apparent ankle injury. Guy looked to have rolled his ankle at the end of the first half, receiving treatment on the bench after crashing to the floor in pain – leading to halftime speculation about his durability in the second half. Then Guy came out firing in the second half, scoring 21 of his 25 points and finally breaking out of a shooting slump that saw him go 8-for-38 from the floor and just 3-for-26 from three in the first three games of the NCAAs. While Edwards kept Purdue in the game with his will, Guy’s grit was at the forefront of Virginia’s second half identity that ultimately led to a Final Four. It wasn’t blow for blow, but Guy’s 3-pointers undoubtedly gave the Cavs the offensive life they needed.
5. Ty Jerome’s scoop-shot and De’Andre Hunter’s go-ahead basket in overtime. Jerome (24 points, seven assists) played a complete game and got a much-needed tear-drop high off the glass to go with 3:19 left for UVA’s first points of the extra frame. Then Hunter, the team’s NBA talent who was relatively quiet in regulation, made a go-ahead driving layup with 28 seconds left to give his team a 76-75 lead it wouldn’t relinquish — before Guy and Clark sealed it with four free throws. Both players looked like they had ice in their veins with a spot to the Final Four on the line.