MINNEAPOLIS — A 12 months after exiting the courtroom as an image of embarrassment, the primary No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 in the lads’s N.C.A.A. event, Virginia left carrying a crown on Monday night time.
The Cavaliers defeated Texas Tech, 85-77, in extra time for the college’s first nationwide basketball championship, which carried with it immeasurable redemption.
“Forget last year,” Virginia’s Ty Jerome mentioned. “This is everything you think about as a kid.”
This title sport was the primary in 40 years between males’s groups that had by no means been there earlier than. The final one was the showdown in which Magic Johnson’s Michigan State group beat Larry Bird and Indiana State in Salt Lake City.
Monday night time’s sport didn’t supply something close to that degree of star energy. Instead, viewers bought a matchup of groups that depend on a throwback type of play — methodical offense, lunch-pail protection and rosters lengthy on expertise.
They noticed a sport for the ages, too, because the groups traded shot after shot down the stretch and into extra time till the Red Raiders may do no extra.
“Every time I thought we had it, they made a shot or made a play,” Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney mentioned afterward, staring on the floor as he sat at his locker. “It was a battle. We threw a punch, they threw a punch. They came right back at us every time.”
It was becoming De’Andre Hunter Three-pointer from the nook, with 2 minutes 10 seconds left in extra time, put the Cavaliers forward for good, 75-73.
Hunter, who missed final 12 months’s event with a damaged wrist, carried the Cavaliers at each ends of the courtroom, harassing the Texas Tech star Jarrett Culver and scoring a career-high 27 factors. Hunter did it with resolve, scoring 22 factors in the second half after lacking seven of his eight photographs in the primary.
Texas Tech bought 17 factors off the bench from Brandone Francis and a few heroic play down the stretch from the fifth-year senior Norense Odiase to rally from 10 factors down in the second half. But Culver, who got here alive offensively late, couldn’t ship fairly sufficient.
He missed two photographs in the ultimate seconds of regulation that might have delivered an unlikely title for Texas Tech, which started the season unranked.
To win the championship, Virginia not solely had to fend off the decided Red Raiders and win thrillers towards Purdue and Auburn in earlier rounds. It additionally had to beat back ghosts from last year, when it was stunned by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and many questions about whether Coach Tony Bennett’s methodical system was suited to championship basketball.
Bennett, whose father, Dick, took Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000, had built Virginia into a powerhouse during his 10 years at the university but had advanced beyond the first weekend of the N.C.A.A tournament only twice before this season.
Last season’s disappointment stung like no other.
It lingered below the surface all season for the Cavaliers, who promised that they would be better for the experience.
Kyle Guy, a starting guard, has used a photo of himself, bent over with his head in his hands while U.M.B.C. players celebrated around him, as his Twitter avatar for the last year. And when a reporter recently apologized for asking a question about that game, Guy told him it was not necessary.
“If you have a conflict, try to hit it head on,” Guy, who scored 24 points, explained on Sunday. “That’s the only way you’re going to get past it, and that’s something that I’ve learned over the years: If you shy away from it, that’s where sometimes your anxiety will come in and haunt you. So I just wanted to hit it head on.”
With a pair of pulverizing defenses and coaches who demanded diligent shot selection, the game began along expectations — something that looked like three dribbles and a cloud of sawdust.
Five minutes into the game it was a baseball score: 3-2 in favor of Texas Tech. And it took the Red Raiders more than seven minutes to score their first field goal.
But down the stretch the teams traded blow for blow. The Red Raiders battled back from a 10-point deficit to draw even at 59-59 with 3:28 left when Culver drove and dished to Odiase, who converted a 3-point play.
Mamadi Diakite and Culver calmly sank a pair of free throws, and after Hunter hit a jumper over Culver and Ty Jerome scored on a cut to the basket, the Cavaliers had some apparent breathing room with a 65-61 lead. But Davide Moretti cut into it by hitting a long 3-pointer with 1:31 to go.
Odiase rose up to block Hunter’s shot. That gave Culver a chance to drive to the basket and score with a left-handed shot over Hunter’s strong contest with 35.7 seconds left.
When Jerome missed a short jumper, Odiase was fouled and sank both free throws to give Texas Tech a 68-65 lead. But the Cavaliers came down the court, and after Jerome, driving to the basket, found Hunter in the corner, his 3-pointer tied the score with 12.8 seconds left.
“I thought we just needed one more stop,” Odiase said. “We pride ourselves on getting stops like that. I thought it was over.”
Next it was Culver’s turn, but his 3-pointer was off. Then, as Virginia tried to call a timeout, the ball rolled out of bounds, giving the Red Raiders one more chance with 1.0 seconds left.
But Culver’s turnaround jumper from the corner was blocked by Braxton Key, and the title game headed to overtime for the first time since Kansas beat Memphis in 2008.
Mooney, who carried Texas Tech with 22 points against Michigan State, awoke in overtime, draining a 3-pointer and, while trapped under the basket, lofting a shot that bounced twice on the rim and dropped through.
It put the Red Raiders ahead by 73-72. But Guy sank two free throws, Hunter hit a 3-pointer deep in the corner, and all the Cavaliers had to do was keep making free throws as Texas Tech fouled in a hopeless effort to keep the clock from draining away.
Virginia made all 12 of its foul shots in overtime, finishing off the Red Raiders and the ghosts of last year.