The Virginia Cavaliers kept their season alive on a wild play as time expired in their 2019 NCAA Tournament matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers. After Ty Jerome missed a free throw while down by two points, the ball was then batted into the backcourt. With time set to run out, the Cavaliers needed a miracle, and they managed to get just that.
Cavaliers guard Kihei Clark dished a pass from nearly three-quarters court to Mamadi Diakite. And just as time expired, Diakite threw up a miracle shot to tie the game at the buzzer, as the March Madness Twitter account shows.
Purdue fouled just prior to this in order to keep Virginia from having a chance to hit a 3-pointer and tie the game. Jerome stepped to the line with five seconds remaining and made the front end of the one-and-one, but missed the second. Thanks to the impressive awareness by Clark who didn’t attempt a deep 3-point heave, Virginia’s season stayed alive and the game went to overtime.
Superb Showings by Virginia Cavaliers Starters
Virginia wrapped up the night with four players scoring in double figures, but it was three names specifically who stood out in a big way. Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy combined for 49 points while knocking down 9-of-22 shots from beyond the arc. Guy also tacked on 10 rebounds while Jerome dished out seven assists. Diakite impressed with 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks along with hitting that crucial game-saving bucket.
De’Andre Hunter tacked on 10 points with five rebounds on 4-of-10 shooting while Clark, who made the game-saving pass, scored just two points but filled up the box score. He wrapped up the night with five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
While Diakite and Hunter combined for 24 points, the only made baskets from 3-point range came from Guy and Jerome, as there were just five total attempts by other Virginia players.
What’s Next for Virginia?
The Cavaliers now await the winner of the Kentucky vs. Auburn game to find out who’s next on the schedule as they head to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the Final Four. While the Texas Tech Red Raiders won the other Elite Eight matchup on Saturday, they’ll play either Duke or Michigan State for a chance to go to the national championship.
If Virginia is able to knock off Kentucky or Auburn next week, then it will mean a date with either Duke, Michigan State or Texas Tech in the title game. It’s been a wild ride for Tony Bennett’s squad, but they’ve managed to get the job done in any way possible, even if it required a wild buzzer-beater.