No. 1 Virginia Wins in OT vs. Carsen Edwards, Purdue; Advances to Final FourMarch 31, 2019
Kyle Guy scored 25 points and Ty Jerome added 24 as No. 1 seed Virginia beat No. 3 Purdue 80-75 in overtime on Saturday in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.
Virginia won despite 42 points from Purdue guard Carsen Edwards, who hit 10 of 19 three-pointers for the 26-10 Boilermakers.
Down 70-68 with seconds remaining in regulation, UVA forced overtime after a haphazard sequence that ended with a Mamadi Diakite jumper for the tie:
In the extra session, UVA took a 76-75 lead with 28 seconds left on a De'Andre Hunter two-pointer:
Edwards missed a three in response, and Guy made two free throws on the ensuing possession.
Purdue still had five seconds left to go full court and attempt a game-tying three, but the Boilermakers committed a turnover. Virginia guard Kihei Clark sealed the game with two free throws.
It's easy to fall into a recency-bias trap and say this was the best NCAA tournament game played in the past few years.
But how can one not after watching what took place Saturday?
The South Regional final was a fantastic matchup that featured a phenomenal individual performance, an all-time great play, few mistakes and two teams who hadn't made the Final Four since well before anyone on the court was born.
On Edwards' end, what record didn't he match or set on Saturday evening?
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Carsen Edwards is ridiculous. He's the 1st player in NCAA Tournament history with multiple games of 9+ 3-pt FG. He's also just the 8th player in NCAA Tournament history with 5 consecutive games with 25+ points. Jerry West has the most consecutive with 8. https://t.co/vhOoxB0PrL
The fact that Edwards scored 42 wasn't the most amazing part of the night. It was how he scored those points.
Who cares if Edwards called bank on his go-ahead three-pointer with 1:12 left:
He also made UVA pay for not defending him at the midcourt logo:
If you want to see all of his highlights, check them out here via CBS Sports:
Edwards scored 34.8 points in four tournament games. He posted 42 twice, having also done so versus Villanova in the second round.
It looked all but certain that Edwards and the Boilermakers were headed to the Final Four, but Clark and Diakite had other plans:
Clark had the ball in his hands on the UVA side of the midcourt logo with just 2.0 seconds remaining, showcasing just how much needed to go right for Diakite to get the shot off—let alone make it.
His pass needed to be fast and pinpoint accurate just to give Diakite a puncher's chance, and it was.
Then, Diakite needed the presence of mind to get a controlled shot off before the buzzer, and he came through.
Lee Benson of News9 pointed out the most impressive part of the play, however:
The freshman guard showed unbelievable poise and maturity, especially considering the rough night he endured before that moment. Clark had more fouls (three) than points (two) and didn't score until his game-sealing free throws.
UVA wouldn't have had a chance to get to that point without the dual dominance of Guy and Jerome.
Guy, who had made just three of 26 three-pointers in three NCAA tournament games, broke out in a big way by going 5-of-12 from downtown. He also grabbed 10 boards.
Edwards and Guy were going bucket for bucket at one point:
CBS SportsLine provided an apt wrestling analogy:
And Zach Harper of The Athletic was quite excited:
Guy, whose slump-breaking performance seemed inevitable considering he was making 42.7 percent of his threes entering Saturday, has a big fan in ex-Virginia football standout and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long:
The junior also played through an injured ankle, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN:
Jerome was fantastic, leading the team with seven assists. Jeff Greer of The Athletic praised his passing in particular:
He also provided some clutch buckets, including this one to put Virginia up 61-57:
Jerome only committed one turnover, and the two teams combined had only 14 on the evening. The biggest one occurred with seconds left in overtime, when an Edwards pass to Ryan Cline went out of bounds:
Edwards explained the decision to pass postgame:
Who can even remotely blame him for the Boilermakers losing, though? Both teams played a phenomenal game in a matchup that featured two teams looking to go back to the Final Four for the first time in decades and simultaneously trying to ward off some old tournament demons.
Purdue hadn't been to the Final Four since 1980. In the first round in 2016, the seniors endured a heartbreaking defeat when they lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 85-83 in double overtime after holding a 14-point lead with 4:06 left in regulation.
Virginia knows heartbreak all too well. The No. 1 seed Cavaliers lost 68-62 to No. 10 Syracuse in the 2016 Elite Eight after holding a 16-point second-half lead. The Hoos then lost by 26 to Florida in the second round the following year before their infamous 74-54 defeat to No. 16 UMBC as the tournament's No. 1 overall seed.
Jerome and Guy, two juniors who were there for the last two tournaments, now have a chance to write a happier ending in 2019.
The Cavaliers have now advanced to their first Final Four since 1984 and will face the winner of No. 2 Kentucky and No. 5 Auburn next Saturday.
The Wildcats vs. Tigers matchup will take place on Sunday at 2:20 p.m. ET.