The Auburn Tigers did everything they could do for 39:58 to defeat the Virginia Cavaliers in the opening game of the Final Four.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to survive the final 1.5 seconds, as UVA star guard Kyle Guy was fouled shooting a last-second three from the corner and hit all three free throws with 0.5 seconds left, as the Cavs escaped with a 63-62 victory and a berth in the national championship game.
With the Tigers leading 62-60 with time running out, Virginia’s Ty Jerome brought the ball up the court with Auburn guard Jared Harper applying pressure, Jerome appeared to dribble off his heel, pick up the ball and continue dribbling.
The referee didn’t call a double-dribble violation and play continued.
The double dribble non-call that will haunt Auburn for generations.pic.twitter.com/DolneBmVPI— Sporting News (@sportingnews) April 7, 2019
Later, with 1.5 seconds to go and Auburn up two after a Harper free throw, Virginia found Guy in the corner for a three. The release was clean, but as Guy landed Auburn’s Samir Doughty made contact with Guy’s hip and a foul was called with 0.5 seconds in regulation, giving Guy three free throws and a chance to win.
Guy went to the stripe and hit his first two shots. After Auburn called a timeout to ice Guy, the Virginia star guard made the third free throw. A desperation three by Tigers guard Bryce Brown was off and the Cavaliers survived.
The Cavs have had their share of good luck in this year’s tournament. It took a last-second basket by Mamadi Diakite as time expired to get UVA to overtime against Purdue to give them a chance to win. This finish was even more extraordinary.
March Madness continues.