Guy’s Three Free Throws Lift Virginia to the National Championship
Virginia advanced to the National Championship with a dramatic 63-62 win over Auburn. Just as it looked like Auburn would pull off the comeback, Kyle Guy scored 6 points in the final 7 seconds to regain the lead.
The first half of the Final Four matchup was back and fourth, as there were 6 lead changes. Virginia jumped out to a quick lead, but Auburn fought back to bring a 31-28 lead into half.
Virginia began the half on a 8-0 run to gain a 36-30 lead over the Tigers. Auburn quickly tied the game, but Virginia began to pull away, and Auburn suddenly got cold from the field. With just over 5 minutes to play, Virginia led by 10.
Ty Jerome, who led Virginia with 21 points, tried poking the ball free from Jared Harper after Jerome missed a jumper on the offensive end, but Jerome got called for his fourth foul, taking him out of the game temporarily. Auburn subsequently went on a 13-0 run to gain a 61-57 lead.
Time was running out for Tony Bennett’s team, but Kyle Guy nailed an off balance three from the corner to bring the game within a point. Jared Harper only converted on 1 of 2 free throws, making the Tiger lead just 2 with 5 ticks left.
Auburn had 2 fouls to give, giving Virginia only 1.5 seconds to try to pull off the miraculous win. Jerome inbounded to the corner where Guy turned around a launched a three, which hit off the front iron and missed. However, Samir Doughty was called for the shooting foul, as he failed to let the shooter Guy land. Guy calmly knocked down three consecutive free throws to give the improbable win to the Cavaliers.
Guy was the hero, but Jerome was the star. He led Virginia with 21 points and 9 assists. Accompanied by Guys 15, DeAndre Hunter had a strong second half, scoring 10 of his 14. For Auburn, it was Doughty who led the team with 13 points off the bench.
The miraculous win sends Virginia to its first National Championship in school history, where it will face fellow first time National Championship appearance opponent, Texas Tech. Virginia hopes to take advantage of Texas Techs methodical style, a style Virginia thrives against.