CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. — No. 13 Virginia (23-6, 15-5 ACC) posted a convincing 75-60 win over Louisville (4-27, 2-18 ACC) Saturday afternoon (March 4) to earn a share of the program’s 11th ACC regular-season title. The Cavaliers never trailed in Saturday’s contest, leading for 39:41 of game time.
With the win, the Cavaliers also locked up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 2023 New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is set to take place at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex next week.
Virginia’s Francisco Caffaro, Chase Coleman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner and Ben Vander Plas were honored for Senior Day prior to tipoff.
Franklin (16 points, 5-8 FG, 2-5 3FG), Gardner (16 points, 8-12 FG), Reece Beekman (5 points, 11 assists) and Ryan Dunn (9 points, 4-5 FG) shined for the Hoos in their 15th ACC victory of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cavaliers led 36-20 at the intermission, which tied for their largest lead of the first half. With his first assist of the night, Clark tallied his 700th career assist when he found Dunn on the block who threw down a two-handed jam. Dunn’s dunk was the first of four straight UVA made field goals after which the Cavaliers led 18-8 at the under-12 media timeout. Virginia kept its foot on the gas for the rest of the period, closing out the half with three straight makes, including a 3 by Isaac McKneely (7 points, 3-6 FG) with 22 seconds left.
Franklin led UVA with eight points as he made two of his four shots from behind the arc along with a pair of free throws. Beekman dished out six of his 11 total assists in the first 20 minutes of play and added a pair of steals. Virginia assisted on all 13 of its made field goals in the first half, while the Cardinals managed just two assists.
Gardner’s second make of period No. 2 delivered UVA’s largest lead of the contest [42-23] with 17:24 to play. Louisville cut the UVA to as little as 13 points in the second half, but never seriously threatened to mount a comeback and spoil the Cavaliers’ Senior Day.
With under 1:00 to play, UVA emptied its bench as the JPJ crowd rose to its feet to honor its seniors. Chase Coleman checked into the game with 47 seconds to play and drained a contested 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in what proved to be the Cavaliers’ final bucket of the evening.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO:
Armaan Franklin. Franklin tied for a team-high 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range. His 16 points marked his sixth double-digit scoring performance in his last seven outings. Franklin also finished 4-for-4 at the charity stripe, pulled down four rebounds, tallied five assists and had one steal.
The second-seeded Cavaliers return to action on Thursday (March 9) for their quarterfinals matchup in the upcoming ACC Tournament. Tipoff from the Greensboro Coliseum Complex is set for 7 p.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2.