Virginia claims redemption one year later

April 12, 2019

A year ago, Virginia earned the overall number one seed of the tournament but lost in a heartbreaking fashion as the No. 16 University of Maryland-Baltimore County made history upsetting the Cavaliers in the first round. It was a long road back but well worth it for Virginia as they bring home the program’s first ever national championship.

In the Final Four, Virginia stunned Auburn 63-62 as Kyle Guy sank three free throws with 0.6 seconds left after a late controversial foul call. Texas Tech grinded past Michigan State 61-51 as the Red Raiders held a comfortable lead for the majority of the game, but the Spartans pulled within one with three minutes left. However, that would be the last time Michigan State would score, as Matt Mooney made some clutch baskets, leading the way with 22 points. With the championship game set, we were guaranteed to see a first time champion as defensive powerhouses of Virginia and Texas Tech would go head to head.

Virginia completed their redemption season with Monday’s win that needed extra time and called for big shots from De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy. Virginia had a double digit lead evaporate late in the game, and the teams began trading baskets late, including big three pointers by both sides. Projected to be a defensive slugfest, the contest turned out to be an unexpected thriller, as the Cavaliers held on for an 85-77 win in overtime. Virginia was led by possible NBA prospect, De’Andre Hunter, who came to the rescue with a career high of 27 points. The sophomore made the game-tying 3 with 12.1 seconds left in regulation, then made another with just over two minutes left in the extra period to give the Cavaliers the lead for good. After all the criticisms, the jokes, the memes and the laughingstock of last year Virginia is finally able to celebrate. It is a sweet story of redemption for Virginia, after the worst loss by any team in the history of the NCAA tournament; Virginia quite possibly had to win it all in order to rewrite their story, and that is just what they did.

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