A year after becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed, the Virginia Cavaliers more than made up for it this year as they took down No. 3 Texas Tech, 85-77, in overtime to win the program’s first NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Just like the Cavaliers have done all tournament long, Virginia pulled away at the end after forcing another overtime game this postseason. After looking like they were going to pull away midway through the second half, Texas Tech made a big run and even took a three-point lead with just under 25 seconds to go.
That’s when Virginia sophomore De’Andre Hunter came to the rescue as the 6-foot-7, 225-pound guard hit the game-tying 3-pointer with just 12 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Hunter finished the game with a career-high of 27 points.
"It goes from stunned in Charlotte to redeemed in Minneapolis."
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 9, 2019
“I told them, I just want a chance at a title fight one day,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett told reporters after the game. “That’s all I want. … You’re never alone in the hills and the valleys we faced in the last year.”
As for the Red Raiders (31-7) — the team full of overlooked grinders refused to quit.
Brandone Francis led Texs Tech with 17 points while Jarrett Culver and Davide Moretti each chipped in with 15 points apiece in the loss.
“In terms of my guys, I’ve never been more proud,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said. “This is real life. We’ll bounce back.”