Wahoos happy to be back in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When Louisville joined the ACC five seasons ago, the Cardinals replaced Maryland on Virginia's conference schedule. So the Cavaliers have made a trip to the KFC Yum! Center in men's basketball every year since 2015.

UVA has won its last four visits to the arena, including a second-half rally to beat the Cardinals 64-52 last month. On Wednesday, the Wahoos were back on the floor of the KFC Yum! Center, the site of Thursday's NCAA Sweet 16 matchup between UVA and Oregon.

“We’ve had great games here, and just having experience playing in a building like this, it gives us kind of an advantage I guess," said UVA sophomore guard De'Andre Hunter. "But it’s going to be kind of a different atmosphere, so it’s a different game.”

Hunter has played a pivotal role in UVA's two most recent victories in Louisville. Last season, Hunter's 3-point buzzer-beater capped the Wahoos' rally from five points down in the final minute to beat the Cardinals 67-66. Last month, Hunter shot 9-of-11 from the floor and finished with a career-high 26 points to pace UVA's comeback from a 12-point deficit early in the second half.

“He was awesome," UVA guard Ty Jerome recalled on Wednesday. "I remember me and Kyle didn’t shoot too well, and different guys stepped up. Mamadi and Jay, and Dre was awesome all game. And we had a good win here.”

“We were talking about that the other day. He had two fouls in the first half. I think he had four points at half, and finished with 26," said UVA forward Braxton Key. "So he had a great game, and second half he just took over. So hopefully he has two more performances like that.”

But while Hunter has enjoyed some of his biggest moments at the KFC Yum! Center, the same cannot be said for Kyle Guy. The next 3-pointer Guy makes in a game at the arena would be his first. The junior guard is 0-for-8 from beyond the line three regular-season visits to Louisville. Guy has averaged nine points on 34.7 percent shooting overall (9-for-26) in those three games.

Guy is also coming off a tough performance in UVA's 63-51 win against Oklahoma last Sunday that sent the Wahoos to the Sweet 16. Guy shot just 2-of-15 overall and didn't make any of his 10 3-point attempts, finishing with a season-low four points.

Guy is still scoring 15.1 points per game and shooting 43.9 percent on 3-pointers for the season. And the Cavaliers say they haven't lost confidence in their best long-range shooter.

“He’s Kyle. So he’s going to keep shooting no matter what," Hunter said. "A bad game’s not going to hurt him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even think about his shooting in this arena. But I mean, we’re going to give him confidence. We’re going to give him the ball when he’s open. So it doesn’t affect him at all.”

“Just keep shooting it," Guy said when asked about his approach entering Wednesday's Oregon game. "Whenever you have teammates like I do that keep passing it to me even though I’m 0-for-8, 0-for-9, 0-for-10, that instills more confidence in me than I have in myself. So I’m going to continue to shoot it, and try to help the team in any way I can.”



 
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