Anyone who thought tonight’s national title game would be boring was sadly mistaken. If you tuned in, Virginia and Texas Tech staged a down-to-the-wire classic.
Forty minutes could not decide this one. It went to overtime, where the Cavaliers outlasted the Red Raiders. Virginia used an 11-0 spurt to turn a 73-70 deficit into an 81-73 lead and held on to win 85-77, capturing the first national title in program history.
It was a remarkable finish to a tremendous season for Tony Bennett and company. One year after becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed, the Cavaliers are on top of the college basketball world.
FINAL: Virginia 85, Texas Tech 77. Tony Bennett has coached the Cavaliers to their first national title one year after they became the first No. 1 seed in history to lose to a No. 16 seed.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 9, 2019
Virginia shot 12-for-12 from the free-throw line in overtime, closing out the game down the stretch.
De’Andre Hunter led the Cavs with 27 points, 22 in the second half and overtime. Kyle Guy added 24 and Ty Jerome chipped in 16.
Virginia Home Run Press Break to SEAL IT!!!! pic.twitter.com/PLfH3GiHYq
— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) April 9, 2019
The game didn’t end in regulation, but there were plenty of heroics in the final minute. None was bigger than Hunter’s game-tying three-pointer.
After two free throws by Texas Tech center Norense Odiase put the Red Raiders up three with 22 seconds left, Virginia pushed the ball downcourt. Jerome penetrated and drew in the defense, enabling Hunter to have a wide-open look at a corner three-pointer to tie it up.
He nailed it.
— NBAChamps (@EnBiEiChamps) April 9, 2019
Texas Tech could not score on its final possession of regulation, with Virginia’s Braxton Key blocking a Jarrett Culver turnaround as time expired.