A Recap of the Final Four

Abdull Ibrahim

Fresh off the most embarrassing and disappointing season of all-time, Virginia made history yet again. Last March, Virginia became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament. Coming into this season and this tournament, they were seeking nothing but vengeance for that embarrassing loss. But not only did they earn a No. 1 seed yet again, but this time the Cavaliers took care of business. Led by the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Kyle Guy, the Virginia Cavaliers brought home their first National Championship in school history. This turnaround as well, capped off a very eventful tournament. From Auburn and Texas Tech reaching their first ever Final Four to the biggest star in college sports, Zion Williamson, not even reaching the Final Four, we had ourselves a very good March Madness. The Cavalier’s path to the Final Four was not an easy one though. They met the Auburn Tigers in the first semifinal matchup, here in Minneapolis. With Auburn reaching the Final Four for the first time, they were very hungry for a chance to be national champions. This game was filled with a lot of controversy, as Auburn had the lead and seemingly the win with a few seconds remaining. After a missed double-dribble call, Kyle Guy was fouled by Samir Doughty on a potential game winning three pointer. Down two points, Kyle Guy was headed to the free throw line with three shots in probably the biggest moment of his career. And Guy stepped up when it mattered most, sinking all three free throws and punching in a ticket to the National Championship.  The Texas Tech Red Raiders met the Michigan State Spartans for the other semifinal matchup. Texas Tech, in their first ever Final Four, stepped up against the Big Ten Champions and held them to a low 31.9 percent from the field. With this stifling defense, they were able to outlast the team that many thought were the favorites to win it all. The championship game itself, was one for the books. An overtime thriller that included a blocked potential game winning shot by star Red Raider and future lottery pick Jarrett Culver. The final score of this matchup, which happened to be a surprise to many, was No. 1 Virginia 85 to No. 3 Texas Tech 77. With both teams being known for their excellent defense, this game was a lot more exciting and more fast paced than many expected. Texas Tech trailed by at least 10 points at two different points in the game, to only rally back and force extra time. Despite their run to end regulation, Virginia proved to be the National Champions by outscoring the Raiders 17-9 in overtime. And just like that, Virginia one season after suffering the most embarrassing loss in college basketball history, was hoisting the National Championship trophy for the first time in school history in our city of Minneapolis.