Redemption! After historic loss in 2018, Virginia responds with 2019 NCAA title

A tortilla was thrown onto the court for Texas Tech vs. Virginia

A tortilla was thrown onto the court for Texas Tech vs. Virginia

That changed at halftime of Monday's national championship game, and his metamorphosis carried the top-seeded Cavaliers to their ever title, 85-77, over No. 3 Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium.

First, when the Cavaliers, a 1 seed again, fell behind by 14 early to No. 16 Gardner-Webb in what seemed like a repeat of the nightmare from the year before.

As the overtime clock hit 0:00, Virginia player De'Andre Hunter - who scored a career-high 27 points - threw the basketball into the air in celebration. The 21-year-old exploded for 22 points in the final 25 minutes of game action, converting seven of his eight shots (including all four of his three-point attempts) to greatly aid in Virginia's run to the national championship.

It's why Guy has his ideal ending a year after a humiliating loss, with a piece of clipped net stuck in his hat and standing as most outstanding player of the Final Four.

Virginia's Kyle Guy celebrates after helping his team defeat Texas Tech in the NCAA championship tournament.

The Red Raiders needed 7:22 seconds to score their first field goal, a 3-pointer from Davide Moretti that pulled the Red Raiders within 9-6 at the 12:39 mark of the first half.

Each of Virginia's 34 wins leading to the final, and each of its scant three losses, were all punctuated by the reminder that only the end result would serve as the ultimate report card on whether the Cavs could truly shed the baggage of previous year.

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Four three-pointers by the Red Raiders, however, tied things up at 19 apiece with 7:34 to play in the half. Their defenders were swarming, and the Cavaliers struggled on offense, punctuated by a Guy travel.

"Now that the season is over, I'll take time with my family and coach and consider my future".

Hunter gave Virginia an early lead from the foul line before Matt Mooney followed a clutch triple with a jump shot in all sorts of traffic to put Texas Tech up 73-70. His final rebound of the game came with just three seconds remaining and the game tied at 68.

Hunter made a tough shot over Culver to make it 63-61, and a Guy lay-in had the Cavaliers' lead back out to four.

Hunter is a sure bet to head to the National Basketball Association, and he said he wasn't anxious about his own bad start on Monday (2-for-8 before ending up with an 8-for-16 line).

"I'm all ears: they can say what they want", Guy said.

Brandone Francis led the Red Raiders with 17 points. "All season I just focussed on my team and trying to win the national championship, so I haven't thought about that any", Culver said. "There is a lot of emotion in the locker room right now, but I am just so proud to be their coach". And coach Tony Bennett has told his team that everyone would watch to see how they responded.

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