No. 1 seed Virginia is going to the Final Four. Purdue junior guard Carsen Edwards scored 42 points, but it was not enough for the Boilermakers as Virginia beat Purdue 80-75 in overtime Saturday night.
The Cavaliers (33-3, 16-2 ACC) took down the Boilermakers (26-10, 16-6 B10) in miraculous fashion. Virginia appeared to be headed for defeat in regulation, but a buzzer-beater by junior forward Mamadi Diakite sent the game to overtime.
The game started out with an offensive barrage. The Boilermakers started out hot from three, and the Cavaliers started off slow.
Edwards, Purdue’s leading scorer, made two threes, and senior guard Ryan Cline added another contested three to put Purdue up 14-10. Diakite kept Virginia in the game with six early points. Freshman forward Aaron Wheeler made another three to put Purdue up 22-12 with 9:46 to play in the half.
After going Virginia went 3:58 without a point, junior guard Kyle Guy sank two free throws, and Diakite made another basket to make it 22-16.
Edwards responded with another three, but junior guard Ty Jerome made one of his own to keep the deficit at six. After a string of stops, Jerome made a stepback three to cut Purdue’s lead to one, 25-24, with 4:47 left in the half.
But Edwards could not be stopped. Sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter got Virginia within one point again, but Edwards made a three to get the Boilermakers’ lead back to four. He had a game-high 16 points on 4-8 shooting from three in the first half.
Diakite got the Cavaliers within one point going into the half on an assist from freshman guard Kihei Clark. Clark had a game-high 4 assists in the first half.
Virginia went into the half down just 30-29, despite shooting just 2-12 from three in the first half. Purdue shot 8-18 from three.
Guy’s tournament shooting woes continued in the first half. He was 0-3 from three in the first half and was 3-26 from three in the three previous tournament games.
The second half, however, was a different story.
Guy opened the second half with a three to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the night, and he made two more to put Virginia up 41-34 with 15:18 left in the half.
Virginia went up 45-37 on a Hunter layup, but Edwards responded with a long three-pointer. Jerome then made one of his own, but Edwards answered with another long three to cut the deficit to five.
After a layup by senior center Jack Salt, Edwards made another three, but Guy responded again to make it 53-46. Guy then made a three to make it 58-52, and Edwards responded to make it 58-55.
Edwards made a layup to cut the deficit to one, and a layup by sophomore guard Nojel Eastern gave Purdue its first lead since the start of the second half, 64-63 with 3:56 left in the game.
The game then went back-and-forth, with Virginia in the lead, 67-66, with 3:09 left to play.
Edwards then banked a three-pointer to take the lead, 69-67. A free throw by Cline made it 70-67, and Jerome was fouled with five seconds left. He made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. The loose ball was tipped into the backcourt, and Clark made a crosscourt pass to Diakite, who converted it at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers a chance to win it in overtime.
Hunter had 4 of his 10 points in overtime, including a layup to put the Cavaliers up 76-75. A pair of free throws from Guy and Clark sealed the game, and Virginia was headed for history.
Jerome was outstanding down the stretch for Virginia. He finished with 24 points and 7 assists. Guy led the Cavaliers in scoring with 25 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds, and Diakite had 14 points and 8 rebounds.
The Cavaliers are headed to Minneapolis next weekend. They are in the Final Four for the first time since 1984 and will play Saturday April 6.