10 best moments from the 2019 NCAA Tournament — March Madness

Wednesday, 10 Apr, 2019

Beard wrapped his arms around Culver, and told the sophomore star he loved him. Mahomes' 5,052 passing yards during the 2016 season ranks as the fourth-most in a single season in conference history, behind two other Red Raiders quarterbacks in Harrell and B.J. Symons. The college game has a 30-second clock, but these units would have been comfortable with 90-second clocks.

One of the greatest, even.

This was 31-7 Texas Tech's first Final Four appearance ever and the Red Raiders disposed of Northern Kentucky, Cinderalla Buffalo, Michigan, Gonzaga and Michigan State. "So I just knew we needed each other".

The genesis of the obscure tortilla toss fan "sport" began when Texas Tech football students started flinging the plastic tops to their sodas on the field back in 1989, according to Viva the Matadors. It was absolutely that good.

"Coach Bennett tells us 'Don't grow tired in doing good, '" Jerome said.

It was Hunter's 3-point basket from the right corner with 2:09 that regained the lead for Virginia.

That raised questions of whether replay was being used for what was arguably its originally intended function - to correct obvious errors in officiating with conclusive imagery - and whether it was fair, in this case, to the Red Raiders. If Texas Tech makes a jumper, do we have a second overtime?

The title game is set for Monday night. If being resilient in the face of adversity is a trait we admire, then it doesn't matter what the replay review determines about Davide Moretti's pinky finger. The game turned on a questionable replay review of a ball going out of bounds, with possession awarded to Virginia, who were ahead by two points with a minute left in overtime.

Instead, Hunter reached legend status.

Hunter was outstanding all game. I just stood there. "I feel like I repeat myself too much". It would give short shrift to the way they overcame so many close calls in this tournament, including an entertaining, back-and-forth final against an opponent that simply would not go away.

After going scoreless for the first 18 1/2 minutes, Hunter finished with a career-high 27 points, and if he leaves as a lottery pick - well, what a way to go out. Bennett, owner of a "Rocky" movie poster of the fighter running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, said all he wanted was for his players to get a shot at the title "and now we are the champs". "He just hit a lot of tough shots".

"For him to be at this game", Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said on Sunday, "and talk to the team briefly yesterday was really, really cool". But also like in the semifinal game, Hunter came out on fire in the second half. "That's probably the best way I can end this".

The first half was all the game was chalked up to be - a defensive battle.

The Red Raiders and the Cavaliers are the only two teams left standing of the 64 that entered the NCAA Tournament and whatever the outcome on Monday, the tournament will have a first-time victor. In terms of my guys, I've never been more proud in coaching. As of Monday morning, 57 percent of public bets are being placed on Texas Tech. He made both, putting the Red Raiders up three.

"When they came on the recruiting visit, I remember telling them, look, the foundation has been laid by guys - Joe [Harris] and Malcolm [Brogdon] were here and all the guys who went before", Bennett said.

"It was everything and more".

It was just one way the UMBC question had dogged Guy and the Cavaliers. From historic loss to storybook redemption. "I'm thankful for what happened". Now I say, well, it bought us a ticket here. But, Virginia ultimately came through with the first national title in program history. Guy smiled and cameras with a hat that read "CHAMPIONS" across the brim. The Cavaliers survived Carsen Edwards in the Elite 8. All season the phrase "the road to the Final Four" is mentioned. In late February, for instance, odds for Texas Tech were placed at 75 to 1.

No laughingstock now. No doubts about system or style. The 2019 national championship was decided in such an instance.