Wake Forest survives, deprives Louisville of possible No. 1 seed

The Wake Forest players couldn’t wait until the end of the game to start celebrating, some of them jumping up and down with 10 seconds to go, their fans making their way down to the court.

The 88-81 win over the eighth-ranked University of Louisville obviously a big one, an unexpected triumph for the Demon Deacons.

Deng Adel kept Louisville in the game with his 22 points but still waiting for the Calvary (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Senior night for the eighth-ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, not headed for the NCAA Tournament after the season, nothing to lose, letting it all hang out on a nationally-televised game. You know like they play this way all the time.

The Demon Deacons refusing to live up to their reputation, not rolling over, oblivious to UofL jumping out to an early 14-point lead in the first half. Hitting the circus shots, staying close, waiting for the Cardinals to go cold, whittling the lead to one point at the half. That was all the motivation Wake Forest seemed to need with all of the adrenaline flowing in the 14,500-seat facility.

Not a good road team this particular UofL basketball team, Donovan Mitchell seeming to lose his way after scoring all of his seven points in the first five minutes of the game. Mangok Mathiang credited with only one turnover but rarely able to catch a pass or make an easy shot look impossible. Ray Spalding getting off to a good start but mysteriously pulling a muscle or something, and never the same after that.

Deng Adel and Quentin Snider keeping UofL close with 22 and 15 points, respectively.

Not the best time to go sour, not with Louisville being mentioned prominently as a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Just another motivational factor for Wake Forest, nothing to lose, not much to gain except for a win over a top 10 team.

Watch them storm the court, those delirious Demon Deacon fans.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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