Redemption! After historic loss in 2018, Virginia responds with 2019 NCAA title


It's tempting to call Virginia a team of destiny, but that would undermine what the Cavaliers accomplished this season.

The victory was Virginia's first national title in men's basketball, and the game was the first between two teams seeking their first championship since Michigan State faced Indiana State in 1979.

"We came in together and said we were going to win a national championship", said 6-foot-2 junior guard Guy, "and to be able to hug each other with confetti going everywhere, and say we did it, it's the greatest feeling I've ever felt in basketball". UVA later managed to regain the lead with a 3-pointer by Ty Jerome right before halftime, taking the score to 32-29. "I just took my time, shot a 3". He scored 22 points in the second half and overtime, finishing with a career high 27.

Texas Tech could become the first team since CT in 1999 to win a title the same year of its first Final Four. "He just hit a lot of tough shots".

Jerome penetrated into the paint and looked like he might try the same floater he missed just a possession earlier, but instead floated a pass out to the corner to Hunter, who caught the ball near his head, reloaded it into his shooting pocket and fired away, splashing a triple with 14 seconds left to tie the game.

Virginia had another nail biter in the Final Four, beating Auburn 63-62 on Kyle Guy's three free throws with 0.6 seconds left.

Should Virginia win Monday night, it will likely go down as one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball history.

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By Monday night, Guy and the Cavaliers had the final word. Texas Tech's Davide Moretti was driving up the court in transition and in traffic when De'Andre Hunter got a fingertip on the ball and knocked it out of bounds.

Culver got by Hunter to give the Red Raiders a 66-65 lead with 35 seconds left, their first lead of the half. The title tilt involved two teams that had never played in a championship game.

"I don't have the words, man", Guy said to one person as he kept side-stepping and inching his way forward through the crowd.

That raised questions of whether replay was being used for what was arguably its originally intended function - to correct obvious errors in officiating with conclusive imagery - and whether it was fair, in this case, to the Red Raiders. But he just - you saw it in him, when he puts that into it.

Hunter said that he tried to be aggressive in the first half, but his shots weren't falling. The teams were tied 68-68 going into overtime. Then it was settled at the free throw line where the Cavaliers clinched their spot as national champs.

"That's a matchup we wanted", Bennett said.