Virginia wins a thrilling title game against Texas Tech, silences critics

The season is over and the Virginia Cavaliers are the 2019 National Champions, following an 85-77 overtime win over Texas Tech. Like many of the games they have played already in this NCAA Tournament, it wasn’t easy but at the end of the day, the Cavaliers are sitting here as the National Champions. This completes the ultimate redemption story as last year Virginia became the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament but they followed that up this year by taking the grand prize.

This game was a classic but it didn’t look to be that way early on, the first four-minute window was ugly with neither team making shots. Virginia became the first team to go on a run, as they went up 17-7 halfway through the first half. The Red Raiders responded of course with an 18-4 run of their own to take a 25-21 lead, which was inspired by their bench of Brandone Francis and Kyler Edwards. Virginia responded with an 11-4 run to close out the first half, which was capped off by a buzzer-beating three by Ty Jerome at the half.

The second half started similarly to how the first half ended, with Virginia scoring the first 6 points out of the break to open up a 9 point lead. Both teams began to start making some big shots, however, it was once again the bench duo of Kyler Edwards and Brandone Francis who helped Texas Tech keep it close. Still, Virginia was able to keep making shots and they opened up a 53-43 lead halfway through the second half.

Virginia and Texas Tech traded baskets for about five minutes, so Virginia was able to hold a 59-51 lead with 5:46 left, then the rally started. Kyler Edwards hit a jumper, Matt Mooney hit a three and Norense Odiase made an and-one to tie the game coming out of the under-4 timeout. The game then went back and forth with both teams making big plays.

Virginia led 65-64 when Jarrett Culver forced a jump-ball with Kyle Guy off a missed shot. Culver then responded by making a spinning floater to put the Red Raiders on top. Virginia wasn’t able to respond meaning Norense Odiase would have free throws, he made both and the Red Raiders led by 3 with 22 seconds to play. Ty Jerome then drove to the basket and with Jarrett Culver helping off of De’Andre Hunter, Jerome found the red-hot Hunter for the game-tying shot. Texas Tech had two shots to win it on the final possession but Jarrett Culver missed a three and then had a jumper blocked, meaning we would have overtime.

Overtime started with Matt Mooney making two big plays to open up a 73-70 lead for Texas Tech with 3 minutes but then Virginia went into lockdown mode on the defensive end. Kyle Guy hit two free throws to cut it to one, while De’Andre Hunter hit the go-ahead three with 2 minutes left in overtime. following a close call, Virginia had the ball with about 50 seconds to play with a two-point lead, that’s when Ty Jerome got fouled and extended the lead to four. The Red Raiders missed their next two shots and it became clear that Virginia would win it. The Cavaliers made all their free throws in overtime and they won 85-77 to collect their first National Championship in program history.

De’Andre Hunter struggled in the first half but he finished the game with a career-high 27 points, while Kyle Guy had 24. Ty Jerome stuffed the statsheet himself, scoring 16 points and adding 8 assists. The trio all came in as freshmen three years ago with one goal in mind and that was to win a National Championship. Tonight those three achieved that goal

Texas Tech said this postgame

The All-Tournament team saw the Virginia trio of Kyle guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter be on the team, while Matt Mooney and Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech were on the team. Kyle Guy won NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding player.

For video of the trophy presentation, the March Madness twitter account has you covered.

While if you are looking for a good lookback at this NCAA Tournament, One Shinning Moment has you covered as well.

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