CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin scored 16 points each and No. 13 Virginia clinched a share of the regular season title in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 75-60 victory against Louisville on Saturday.
Virginia (23-6, 15-5) began the day tied with No. 16 Miami and No. 25 Pittsburgh, the sixth time they’ve finished atop the ACC in 14 seasons under Tony Bennett. Miami and Pitt played later.
Mike James scored 24 and El Ellis had 14 for Louisville (4-27, 2-18), which lost for the eighth time in its last nine games and finished the regular season last in the conference.
The Cavaliers led throughout and used a 13-2 run in the first half to open a 26-10 lead. It was 36-20 at halftime and the Cardinals never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
When it was over, Bennett presented Kihei Clark a basketball listing all the records he’s broken at Virginia. The team then cut down the nets to celebrate the shared championship.
Louisville: The Cardinals’ bench scored just eight points, compared to 25 for Virginia’s reserves.
Virginia: The arena erupted when Kihei Clark was removed with under 50 seconds remaining. Clark earlier this year became the Cavaliers’ career assist leader and leads in numerous other categories. Bennett removed the rest of the starters with 37 seconds left. Clark’s replacement, the seldom-used but very popular Chase Coleman, promptly made a 3-pointer to more roars.
The ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina.