2019 NCAA Tournament championship: Virginia completes epic journey from last year’s ugly exit to win its first title

MINNEAPOLIS — Only college basketball could give us something so storybook — too rich for movies; too perfect for documentaries — like Virginia winning the 2019 NCAA championship.

On Monday night inside U.S. Bank Stadium, UVA coach Tony Bennett, humbly seated on his stool, dropped his head in blissful victory, the weight of his own desires and dreams finally vaporizing around him, as the game clock expired and these Virginia Cavaliers completed the greatest redemption arc in college hoops history.

Virginia’s 85-77 overtime triumph against Texas Tech and its No. 1-rated defense came in an undeniably epic, and historic, 2019 national title game, just the eighth ever to require OT. Virginia’s first championship in school history and Bennett’s first title as a coach completes the circle, the curvature of which started on March 16, 2018, when No. 1 overall seed UVA lost by 20 points to No. 16 UMBC and became the most infamous loser in NCAA Tournament history.