Virginia wins its first NCAA men's basketball national title

Texas Tech and Virginia meet in the national championship game on Monday

Enlarge Image Texas Tech and Virginia meet in the national championship game on Monday April 8. AP

This is the first national championship for the University of Virginia men's basketball team and head coach Tony Bennett.

But Texas Tech momentarily lost Virginia's De'Andre Hunter, who with plenty of space and time swished a corner three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.

The final 6 minutes of regulation was what made this game go from great to all-timer. Ty Jerome, the other part of UVA's "big three", scored 16 points and dished out 8 assists, as the Cavaliers finished the season 35-3. Anything I said, it was, 'Yes, sir.' They went after it.

Traditionally known as a football school, Texas Tech's men's basketball team has made a dominant run through this year's tournament. (It's not even just basketball-UTRGV defeated Harvard to successfully defend its title in the college chess Final Four!) And a championship, especially at a major level, can mean big things for the players, coaches, and programs that accomplish it. We knew who he was.

The first half was all the game was chalked up to be - a defensive battle. The Cavaliers will get everyone's best shot every night out - if they didn't already. On the massive video board, NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes was shown amid a sea of Red Raiders fans while "Old Town Road" blared out of the sound system, instantly changing the energy inside U.S. Bank Stadium. After halftime, he made seven of eight.

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Trailing 59-51 with under five minutes left in the second half after Hunter followed a Guy miss with a stickback, Texas Tech looked to be on the verge of fading out with a whimper.

"I think there was a bigger plan going on here, and I wasn't needed, but I was used in it". Hunter, who had just 5 first half points, exploded in the second half and overtime. After trading free throws, Virginia led 65-61. It was his only shot in overtime.

"Great pass", Mooney said. We can be inspired by wins, but we can learn from losses. His game-high 27 points surpassed his previous high of 23 versus Gardner-Webb in the first round of the tournament March 22. He also accounted for nine rebounds and six assists.

Hunter's late-game resolve embodies the metaphor that is the theme of Virginia's 2018-19 season. It almost proved costly for Virginia. Point guard Kihei Clark will be back with a year of experience, and top reserve Braxton Key could slide into a starting job. This one didn't go down to the last second but will be forever remembered in Virginia hoop lore. To pull off the most awe-inspiring moments against Purdue, Auburn and Texas Tech to cut down the nets on the final Monday of the season.

"Joy is in the competition, like coach said", Hunter said. The Red Raiders, who weren't ranked when the season started, played with huge heart, overcoming multiple double-digit deficits to get ahead of the favored Cavaliers.

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