The Play That Beat UNC-Wilmington

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Sylven Landesberg dropped in this game-winning shot.

With Monday night’s game tied at 67-67 and 14.1 seconds on the clock, the Virginia men’s basketball team turned to Sylven Landesberg for the final shot of the game. He didn’t disappoint, knocking down a 14-footer to ignite the John Paul Jones Arena crowd and give the Cavaliers the win. How’d they do that? Let’s take a look.

On the decisive play, the Hoos inbounded the ball near halfcourt on the left side of the floor (facing the basket). Sammy Zeglinski inbounds the ball to Jontel Evans in the backcourt. Zeglinski inbounds the ball and immediately sprints to the right corner. The others players line up with Mike Scott on the right elbow, Jerome Meyinsse above the left block and Landesberg outside on the left wing.

At this point, the floor has been spaced in a 3-around-2 alignment with three guards surrounding a high and low post. There are a number of options from this particular alignment. With Scott at the high post, the Hoos could have Evans dribble off of a high ball screen heading toward his right hand and the right side of the floor where Zeglinski, one of the team’s best outside shooters, is waiting for a potential kick-out pass; the high screen action could create a lane for Evans, a lane for Scott to roll, room for Scott to pop, or the penetrate-and pitch option for Zeglinski.

Of course, none of those involve Landesberg and everybody in the building expected the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year to touch the basketball in the game’s final situation.

“We thought he was going to get the ball. He is their guy and rightfully so. He is very good – as much motion as they run, we didn’t know as much what to expect, because we are not as familiar with them as teams in our league [the CAA]. You have a familiarity in your league – you know what certain teams are