Virginia Captures First NCAA Men’s Basketball Title With 85-77 Win Over Texas Tech [VIDEO]
Virginia made history on Monday night for the second year in a row. This time, it was much sweeter.
After becoming the first-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in NCAA Tournament history, they were crushed. Virginia Cavaliers star Kyle Guy had no answers about the team’s philosophy, its heart and its legitimacy. All that loss did was expose those.
“I try to use every single experience I’ve been through to help me through hard times or good times or any times,” Guy said. “I think that UMBC is the greatest life lesson I’ve ever learned.”
But in it, the Cavaliers found resolve. They won their first-ever National Championship.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 9, 2019
On Monday in Minneapolis, Virginia answered any questions its critics had. They ended this year in the final round. More importantly, they won against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 85-77. It took an overtime performance as well as a 12-second comeback but still, it was their bus that had the custom wrapping reading “2019 National Champions” on it.
That’s not to say that their fans ever expected it. The Cavaliers put awe into the hearts of their fans and probably caused heart attacks in a few. They averaged a 7.5-point margin of victory, the third smallest for any winner since the field expanded in 1985 and the smallest by any No. 1 seed. Three of their six games came down to the final possession in regulation as well. Braxton Key blocked a Texas Tech jumper as time expired to force overtime and a few days earlier, Guy hit three free throws in the final seconds of the Final Four.
Virginia’s championship run was defined by late-game heroics. pic.twitter.com/revmBOwhu0
— ESPN (@espn) April 9, 2019
Guy scored 24 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in the game. De’Andre Hunter was good for 27 points and 9 rebounds as well as the game-tying three-pointer with 12 seconds left. He pushed himself up a few mock draft boards with his performance. Head coach Tony Bennett proved that his slow-tempo offense, ranked 316th or lower, can win big.
Most importantly, the Cavaliers avenged the pain of last year’s tournament the best way possible, with a win this year.