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Virginia Completes Redemption Tale With First NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship, Defeats Texas Tech 85-77 In OT

Virginia Is The New NCAA Champ A little over a year ago, the University of Virginia men’s basketball team made history by becoming the first No. 1 seed to...

Virginia Is The New NCAA Champ

A little over a year ago, the University of Virginia men’s basketball team made history by becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed (Maryland-Baltimore County) in the round of 64.

Now the Cavaliers, who had not reached the Final Four since 1984, are champions.

With De’Andre Hunter scoring 27 points and Kyle Guy adding 24, the Cavs, again a No. 1 seed, held off No. 3 seed Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime in Minneapolis on Monday night to win their first NCAA title. Guy was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four.

“We did something unbelievable,” Cavaliers forward Mamadi Diakite said amid the celebration. “We just made history.”

Virginia finished the season 35-3 and lost only to teams from its conference. ACC rival Duke topped Virginia twice during the regular season and Florida State handed Virginia its final defeat during the ACC Tournament. The Red Raiders, who were also in the championship game for the first time, wrapped up at 31-7.

The loss to UMBC in March of 2018 was a constant prod for the Cavaliers, who turned their shame into a driving force.

“There was humiliation, embarrassment for ourselves and our families and the program,” said Guy, a junior. “To be able to redeem all that, and give this program something that’s never happened before is all that I could ever want.”

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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