Louisville drops an 81-77 loss to Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon

BROOKLYN, N.Y - Louisville drops an 81-77 loss to Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

The University of Louisville let a 12-point lead slip away on Thursday.

Jayson Tatum scored 25 points for the Blue Devils, who switched to a zone with 9 minutes left and edged past the Cardinals 81-77 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament at the Barclays Center.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals (24-8) will now wait for the NCAA Bracket to be drawn on Sunday night.

MVP of the game

Deng Adel had one of his best games of the season for the Cardinals and was attacking the Blue Devils.

Adel was 7 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 6 from three-point range, and finished with 21 points, five rebounds and one assist in 38 minutes. He was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

When the Cardinals built the 12-point lead it was Adel attacking the basket.

Key moment

It had to be when the Blue Devils switched to the zone defense.

Louisville finished with 46 points in the paint and 42 came before the zone switch, which was about the 9:00 mark.

Once Duke switched to the zone, Quentin Snider said the Cardinals went "stagnant" and that led to the Cardinals not being able to get the ball in the paint like they had been before the switch.

"It reminded me of the North Carolina game my freshman year," Snider said. "We just didn't get anything going."

Free-throw woes

It's been a common theme in some of the losses this season - poor free-throw shooting.

And it happened again. The Cardinals were 15 of 26 from the line on the day.

"I really think we could have won by 20 tonight had we made free throws," U of L coach Rick Pitino said. "It's unbelievable. And we work on them more than we have in the past."


U of L coach Rick Pitino

"I thought we played well enough to win the game tonight. We certainly have improved a lot offensively, but we still have some free-throw shooting woes, which really hurt us. If we improve that area and play the same type of offense that we're playing, I think we have a chance to go pretty far. We're very disappointed we lost this game. We thought we were a better basketball team, and we were hoping to win this tournament. They wound up being the better basketball team. So give them a lot of credit, and we move on and have a long layoff."

Up next . . . 

The Cardinals will find out the NCAA seeding on Sunday.

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