Jayden Gardner had 17 points and Kihei Clark scored 15 to help Virginia hold Louisville 51-50 in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Wednesday night.
Gardner’s layup gave Virginia (19-12) a 45-42 lead with 2:57 to go, but Noah Locke responded with a 3-pointer 63 seconds later to tie the score.
Gardner hit a jumper at 1:28 and Reece Beekman made a layup after a missed 3-pointer by Jarrod West to put the Cavaliers up 49-45 with 40 seconds left. West missed another 3, but the Cardinals (13-19) grabbed three offensive rebounds before Malik Williams scored to make it 49-47 with 5 seconds left.
Louisville fouled Gardner, who made two free throws for a four-point lead. That came in handy when Louisville’s El Ellis buried a 3-pointer on the game’s last shot.
Beekman had nine assists to go with eight points for the sixth-seeded Cavaliers.
Williams outshot the 11th-seeded Cardinals, who led 24-20 at halftime, with 11 points and 13 rebounds
Virginia beat Louisville twice during the regular season. The Cavaliers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings with Louisville and lead the all-time series 20-5.
Virginia, which finished outside the ACC’s top four spots for only the second time in 10 seasons, advances to face No. 3 seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
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