Let’s Not Mourn for Texas Tech

Virginia celebrate winning the NCAA championship

After being shocked by No. 16 seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in the NCAA tournament last season - the Cavaliers lost that one by 20 points - Virginia was the lone No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four this year.

But really, Bennett had his answer that afternoon with the West Virginia mountains rising on either side of them.

The bucket tied the game that the Cavaliers went on to win 85-77 in overtime, delivering a resounding response to last season's historic NCAA Tournament flameout.

In the end, Virginia walks out with its first men's basketball national title. "Being down 14 against Gardner-Webb, and you did not panic in the moment, and you fought, and you found a way out".

De'Andre Hunter then drilled a 3-pointer for his 27th point and a 75-73 UVA lead with 1:06 left in OT. Hunter, who had just 5 first half points, exploded in the second half and overtime.

Jack Salt came off the bench for Virginia against Texas Tech
AL BELLO GETTY IMAGESJack Salt came off the bench for Virginia against Texas Tech

Guy finished with 24 points and Ty Jerome had 16 for the Cavaliers, who like the Red Raiders were appearing in the title game for the first time.

The first half was all the game was chalked up to be - a defensive battle. "Just staying aggressive, that's it".

"This is the problem with replay: [Virginia's Kyle] Guy and Hunter fouled Moretti there if you put it in slo-mo", Ryan Phillips of The Big Lead tweeted.

On Monday, Francis had 17 points off the bench to lead Texas Tech. It's hardly out of the question that the Hoos could make their second consecutive Final Four in 2020.

Texas Tech outmuscled Michigan State 61-51 in its Final Four game Saturday night, but saw Tariq Owens roll his right ankle in the second half.

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It would have been magical if Jarrett Culver-the hometown Lubbock kid who catapulted to superstardom during the tournament-had sunk his shot with one second left to play in regulation, but this wasn't a magical team.

Hunter drained a 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds left to force the first overtime since 2008, when Mario Chalmers' miracle helped Kansas top Memphis in San Antonio. What this game turned out to be was one of the best and only the eighth National Championship overtime game in tournament history.

"Yeah, we came in together and said that we were going to win a national championship", Guy said late Monday night, "and to be able to hug each other with confetti going everywhere and say we did it, it's the greatest feeling I've ever felt in basketball".

John Beilein said something this season to the effect of, "Michigan and Michigan State basketball are two fantastic programs, show me another state with that level of success".

The Cavaliers are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 Monday games.

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If you're truly on the fence regarding whether or not to hedge, you can punt on the decision until the game starts and hope Virginia gets off to a hot start.

Texas Tech rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half, taking advantage of Virginia misses and hitting key shots down the stretch to take the lead. Nothing but respect for their program, their coaches, their players, their fans.

There wasn't a ton of scoring from there, but Hunter's big shot stood up and the Cavaliers got a break as an out-of-bounds call went their way, allowing them to finish it off at the line, setting off a wild celebration.

During his junior year, Guy averaged 15.2 points per game.

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