Virginia beats Texas Tech in OT thriller to win 1st national title

Tanya Simon
April 11, 2019

First, when the Cavaliers, a 1 seed again, fell behind by 14 early to No. 16 Gardner-Webb in what seemed like a repeat of the nightmare from the year before. He had a career-high 27 points on 4-5 shooting from three, doing it inside and outside, and played great defense on Texas Tech standout sophomore guard Jarrett Culver, holding him to just 5-22 shooting.

Up until this point, Virginia rode the efforts of guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome.

Kyle Guy never let some shaky NCAA Tournament showings scare him away from taking the shots Virginia needed to win a national title.

Hunter's pair of 3-point shots rescued the Cavaliers after a 10-point lead with 10:24 in regulation time had slipped away.

The NCAA basketball championship game always delivers - and today's finale between Virginia and Texas Tech was no exception.

Each of Virginia's 34 wins leading to the final, and each of its scant three losses, were all punctuated by the reminder that only the end result would serve as the ultimate report card on whether the Cavs could truly shed the baggage of a year ago. I think what these guys have accomplished this year, Big 12 Championship, Final Four, national championship game ...

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"And I just tried to do the same thing in the second half, and my shots were falling".

The nation's best defense couldn't afford to give up a 3, but Jerome skipped a pass to Hunter, who was open on the wing - and spotted up and drained it. Culver missed a 3 with Guy in his face with a second left, and we were headed to overtime, the first extra session in the final since Kansas beat Memphis in 2008. I have to go back and watch the film. After trading free throws, Virginia led 65-61. "There is a lot of emotion in the locker room right now, but I am just so proud to be their coach".

With more than 70,000 people watching his every gesture and expression, he calmly sank all three to give Virginia the 63-62 win and a second straight tournament escape. I said, 'We're asking you to build on that foundation, and even at that house, that's going to be the hardest step.

Texas Tech's roster includes five upperclassmen among the 15 players. "And I told them, I just want a chance at a title fight one day".

Jerome, who had 16 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in the game, noted the remarkable unity of this Virginia team when reflecting on the win. "The Red Raiders went on to upset the Aggies, and we just kind of kept on doing it before games after that".

Coach Tony Bennett has the Cavaliers on top. A year after a historic defeat, Virginia came up with a historic victory Monday night.

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