Virginia fans you can now breathe, it took an overtime nail biter, but the Cavaliers outlasted the Texas Tech Raiders 85-77 securing its first NCAA National Championship.
Virginia pretty much controlled the game throughout regulation with things getting very interesting in the closing minutes of the second half. Texas Tech battled back to take the lead but some timely big shots from Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter who hit some key corner threes, one tieing the game and sending Monday’s (Apr.8) Championship game at the U.S. Bank Stadium into overtime and another help jump-starting the run that helped sealed the deal.
The Cavaliers road to their first NCAA title was not an easy one at all. Their Saturday (Apr.6) final four contest with Auburn was a nail biter decided by three free throws the result of a questionable foul call on Samir Doughty with just 0.6 seconds left to play. Before that Diakite hit a buzzer beater to force overtime with Purdue where they defeated the Boilermakers. In their battle with the Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16, Virginia squeaked out a four-point win. Oh, and we can’t forget the Cavaliers being down 14-points to Gardner-Webb which had Virginia fans suffering from flashbacks when the number 1 seed was bounced from the tournament by UMBC in the first round last year.
The path to redemption was a hard one, but it was well worth it, and we are sure this victory was extra sweet for Virginia especially after suffering that significant upset last year despite being the clear favorites. Speaking on that tough loss after Monday’s win Vigina Coach Bennett added:
“You can’t go through the stuff that no one’s experienced. Again, it’s a game. We talked about it, but they had to deal with things, their own stuff inside and the opinion of others, and just come together and tighten in a way, and they went after it in terms of developing their own game and then how they played.”
With the taste of victory fresh in their mouths, the Cavaliers already looking ahead to next year. Vegas already has Virginia as the favorites to win it all again.
Photo: Tom Pennington / Getty