Many are calling the Virginia Cavaliers
It was a bitter ending for Texas Tech, who had grabbed their lead in the first half with very little time left. That was quickly snatched away when their own defense left Hunter wide open, in order to hit that shot. Jarrett Culver wasn’t able to score at the other end, and that’s when desperation kicked in. From this point on there wasn’t a lot of scoring, but Hunter’s big shot was what the Cavaliers needed to break away. Hunter started the game 1-for-8, yet finished 8-for-16 for 27 points, turning it on late while also locking up Culver, his fellow lottery prospect, who went just 5-for-22, including six misses from three-point range. Both teams shook off awful offensive starts to the game to play a thrilling, back-and-forth final 25 minutes.
What’s really great about the game is that both schools were making their national title game debut. Texas Tech lost in the Elite Eight last year, and Virginia became the first number 1 to fall to number 16. And ever since then, Virginia has been out to prove something.
“I think we started believing I ourselves since the loss last year, in a way that’s different than any other team I’ve been a part of. Obviously last year we thought that we could win it all. We were 31-3,Kyle Guy, Guard, Virginia Cavaliers
bestteam in the country, and we had a chance. I don’t know if that was hope or belief. I know this year that there was a belief, as soon as that buzzer sounded last year, that we were going to do something special this year. I think you see the growth from that. (Against) Gardner-Webb we’re down 10 (in the first game this year) or whatever – same position as last year – and we didn’t panic. We just buckled down and tried to take care of business.”
All-in-all, you kind of wonder how these teams scored as many points as they did. There was only one field goal in the first 5:25 of the game and Texas Tech didn’t sink a shot until nearly eight minutes into it, snapping an 0-for-8 start. Culver followed up his 0-for-6 start from the field in the semi-final against Michigan State with an 0-for-6 opening 20 minutes, including a bit of foreshadowing in the form of an opening possession air ball. And Hunter wasn’t much better, starting 1-for-8 as both players shut each other down, showcasing the other sides of their games, which is what intrigues NBA personnel.
Overall, the game was kind of amazing. How many of us expected Virginia to get this far, let alone win. Virginia beat Texas Tech with an 85-77 win during overtime. This is one of those games that will definitely go down in history.