MINNEAPOLIS — Virginia, a nice tortoise of an app with a warmish 114-year history, a bent for deliberative basketball along with an unthinkable splat of 13 months ago, spent Monday night scaling the final jagged rungs into a pinnacle. When eventually it made the final, painful measures in overtime, attained the very top and looked about, it understood a sense associated only with others such as Duke or North Carolina, the neighboring hares that always left it among the overshadowed.
It had become the very first first-time men’s college basketball national winner in 13 years, and may see back across the landscape of one hell of a story. It might see Texas Tech, the finalist Virginia outlasted by 85-77 in that , a group so great it had hit on the NCAA tournament like some fantastic wind coming from the large 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 twist out of doom in life-shortening games from Purdue, Auburn and Texas Tech. Squint more difficult, and it might see 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 against Maryland Baltimore County, the nadir of a five decades of tortured Marches. Yet right in front, it could see the droves in orange and blue in U.S. Bank Stadium, reveling as sound cascaded from fans who rarely dared dream of anything.
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