MINNEAPOLIS — Virginia, a nice tortoise of an app using a warmish 114-year history, a bent for deliberative basketball along with also an unthinkable splat of 13 weeks ago, spent Monday night scaling the final jagged rungs into a pinnacle. When finally it made the closing, agonizing steps in overtime, reached the top and looked about, it knew a feeling long associated only with other people such as Duke or North Carolina, the neighboring hares that always left it among the overshadowed.
It had become the first first-time men’s college basketball national champion in 13 years, and may see back across the landscape of one hell of a narrative. It could see Texas Tech, the finalist Virginia outlasted from 85-77 in that overtime, a group so good it’d hit on the NCAA tournament like a fantastic wind coming from the high plains of Lubbock, felling Michigan State, Gonzaga, Michigan and Buffalo.
Gaze back from up high, and Virginia could observe the carnival of drama which helped it wriggle from doom in life-shortening matches against Purdue, Auburn and Texas Tech. Squint harder, and it could observe back to March 2018, when Virginia became the first No. 1 seed in tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed, a bewildering 74-54 thud from Maryland Baltimore County, the nadir of a five decades of tortured Marches. Yet right in front, it might see the droves in blue and orange in U.S. Bank Stadium, reveling as noise cascaded from lovers who seldom dared dream of such a thing.
Read more: topekahockeytalk.com