After becoming the first ever No.1 seed to lose to a 16-seed last year, Virginia won their first ever NCAA men’s basketball championship tonight, beating Texas Tech 85-77 in an overtime classic. The big 3 of Virginia led the way for the Hoos. Deandre Hunter had a career high 27 points, including a number of clutch 3-pointers. Sharpshooter Kyle Guy went 4/9 from the 3-point line and finished with 24 points. While junior forward Ty Jerome had a near triple-double, finishing with 16 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Texas Tech trailed most of the 2nd half, and they were down 10 points with only ten minutes to go. But Tech got hot behind Big 12 player of the year Jarrett Culver, they tied the game up at 61 with two minutes to go. Culver then hit a layup with 30 seconds left in the game to give Tech their first lead of the 2nd half, 66-65. But they were unable to hold onto the lead, and couldn’t buy a bucket in the overtime period. In the loss, Jarrett Culver finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds. The Red Raider bench outscored the Virginia bench 29-6.
Virginia was the team of destiny this year, escaping Purdue in the Elite Eight, and winning on a controversial call over Auburn in the Final Four. Tonight it was Hunter who hit clutch shot after clutch shot. First it was a 3-pointer in the corner with 12 seconds to go to tie the game up at 68-68. Virginia then trailed by 1 early in the overtime period, but Hunter hit another clutch 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 2 point lead and they never looked back. They finished the game on a 10-4 run to pull away for the win.
Kyle Guy hung a newspaper clipping of the upset loss from last year loss on his bedroom wall. Guy said before the game “We can’t forget last year, but we have to move forward.” Virginia did just that, using last years disappointment as fuel to help the Cavs bring home their first ever NCAA basketball title in program history.
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