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Georgia Tech knocks off No. 5 Louisville as Jordan Nwora struggles

Louisville Georgia Tech Basketball

Georgia Tech guard Jordan Usher (4) reacts with guard Jose Alvarado (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Atlanta, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)


Jordan Nwora entered Wednesday night as the frontrunner to win ACC Player of the Year on the team leading the conference while sitting on a 10-game winning streak.

Put another way, the Cardinals had spent the last six weeks reminding us why we all thought they could go out and win a national title in Chris Mack’s second season on the job.

Then Wednesday night happened.

Nwora scored just two points while shooting 1-for-6 from the floor as Louisville lost at Georgia Tech, 64-58. The Yellow Jackets are now 11-13 overall and 6-8 in the ACC in a year where they are ineligible to play in the postseason and Josh Pastner is coaching for the right to remain head coach.

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So yes, this is a bad loss, one that could cost Louisville an outright ACC regular season title. The Cardinals are now just a half-game in front of Duke in the league standings, but they are functionally tied; both teams have a pair of losses.

But the bigger picture here is that this is yet another game where Nwora no-showed. He has had a habit of doing that this season. He finished with just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting in the loss at Kentucky when he turned himself into a decoy. He had just six points on 3-for-12 shooting in the win at Duke when he was used intentionally as a decoy. He was 4-for-16 from the floor in the loss to Texas Tech in Madison Square Garden.

And that’s worrisome for the Cardinals as we head towards the postseason in a sport where one loss sends you packing.

Overreacting to one game and one off-night from anyone is silly in a season that lasts five months. Everyone has bad nights. Seton Hall lost at home to Creighton tonight because Myles Powell was 0-for-10 from three until hitting a meaningless triple in the final seconds. Cassius Winston’s off-night on Tuesday nearly cost Michigan State a 20-point lead at Illinois.

It happens.

But with Nwora, the disappearing act seems to happen a little more frequently than Louisville fans should feel comfortable with.