The Virginia Cavaliers were one miracle shot away from being eliminated in the Elite Eight of the 2019 NCAA Tournament by Carsen Edwards and the Purdue Boilermakers. But thanks to a wild buzzer-beater by forward Mamadi Diakite, the game went to overtime and the Cavaliers were able to get the job done and advance to the Final Four.
Ty Jerome missed a free throw with Virginia down by two points, and the ball was batted into the backcourt immediately after. Time was set to run out, but guard Kihei Clark made a brilliant play after chasing down the loose ball. Standing around the opposite 3-point line, Clark fired a long pass to Diakite instead of heaving up three-quarters court shot.
The end result of the play can be seen at the start of this Final Four hype video posted on Diakite’s Instagram.
NOTE: This video features language that is NSFW.
Full Video of Virginia’s Final Play of Regulation vs. Purdue
If Cavaliers fans weren’t excited enough about the Final Four trip and being one win away from the title game, that video will get the job done. As far as the last-second basket by Diakite and the pass from Clark, the March Madness Twitter account showed the play in its entirety.
It was a wild scene, and all started after Purdue fouled Jerome in order to keep the Cavaliers from having a chance to hit a 3-pointer and tie the game up with roughly five seconds remaining. Jerome knocked down the first but missed the second which began the final stretch of regulation.
Mamadi Diakite’s Stats From Impressive 2019 NCAA Tournament
The 6-foot-9 junior has gone from playing sporadic minutes throughout the regular season to receiving heavy run in the NCAA tournament. During Virginia’s two ACC tournament games, Diakite played a combined 20 minutes. In comparison, he’s logged 27, 28, 35 and 42 minutes in the past four games.
Over this stretch of tournament action, Diakite has posted marks of 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. During the team’s 80-75 overtime win against Purdue, he scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds and four blocks. In each of the three games prior, Diakite had at least nine rebounds and has blocked two or more shots in the Round of 32, Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.
With Virginia coach Tony Bennett cutting down his rotation fairly drastically in the NCAA tournament, it’s likely that Diakite will see big minutes again when the team faces Auburn. It’ll be a tough test for the 22-year-old, but he’s stepped up throughout the first four games of March Madness.