- Virginia defeated Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime on Monday night to win their first national championship.
- The Cavaliers win came with the help of a controversial review in the final seconds of the game that turned possession back over to Virginia.
- On Twitter, sports fans expressed their frustration with the decision to review the possession, as it interfered with what might have been a more compelling ending to the game.
- Check out the rest of our March Madness coverage here.
Virginia completed its redemption tour on Monday night.
After becoming the first 1-seed to fall in the first round in the history of the men’s tournament in 2018, the Cavaliers bounced all the way back this year, defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime to win their first national championship.
But while Virginia’s impressive performance put them in position to win, the Cavaliers were helped along in a big way by a controversial decision from the officials late in the game.
With just a minute left in overtime and Virginia holding a 75-73 lead, Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti came down with a defensive rebound and tried to start the fast break.
Moretti was chased down by Cavaliers guard De’Andre Hunter, who poked the ball out of bounds, stopping the break, but keeping possession with the Red Raiders – or so we thought.
The officials decided to review the play, and found after slowing down the instant replay to frame-by-frame levels, the ball had actually touched Moretti’s fingertip just a hair longer than Hunter’s, and possession was awarded back to the Cavaliers.
— FanNewsClips (@FanNewsClips) April 9, 2019
While the call was technically correct, it felt wrong – in any other situation, Texas Tech would have had the ball and a chance to tie the game or even take the lead. But because the game was in its final two minutes, and because officials now largely err on the side of caution, the play went to review, and possession changed hands.
Replay is supposed to prevent egregious misses by the refs from affecting the outcome of games, but at what point does “getting the call correct” become an over-intrusive standard?
On Twitter, many in the sports world expressed their disgust with how the final seconds of the game played out.
In every other time of the game that's Texas Tech ball, that it's inside the final two minutes shouldn't completely change how possession gets called.
— Robby Kalland (@RKalland) April 9, 2019
It’s against the spirit of how the game is supposed to be played, and it absolutely ruins the entertainment factor. It’s bad all around.
I’ve become more anti-replay review as I’ve gotten older. Causes more issues than it solves.
— Chris Paul Towers (@CTowersCBS) April 9, 2019
that replay call is broken
— tim cato (@tim_cato) April 9, 2019
One sport has gotten replay right: Tennis.
And that's just because it's an instant computer generated image that we all inherently trust & immediately move on.
In every other sport it's made the product markedly worse for the consumer.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) April 9, 2019
The replay call was technically “correct” but it remains dumb that out of bounds reviews ignore blatant fouls that are committed in the process of plays
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) April 9, 2019
Virginia would drain free throws on their next two possessions and never let Texas Tech back within striking distance.
No matter how you feel about the decision to review and eventually overturn possession that late in the game, Virginia is now men’s basketball national champions for the first time in their history.
- Read more from Tyler Lauletta:
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