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Five interesting stats from the Virginia men’s basketball team’s 2019 national championship

Five interesting stats from the Virginia men’s basketball team’s 2019 national championship

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Virginia guard De’Andre Hunter reacts after a 3-pointer in the second half of the national title game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

For Virginia fans, the only statistic that truly matters from last season’s men’s basketball national championship game is the final score.

The Cavaliers scored 85 points, while Texas Tech finished with 77. The overtime win gave Virginia its first men’s basketball national championship.

“We came in together and said that we were going to win a national championship, and to be able to hug each other with confetti going everywhere and say we did it, it’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt in basketball,” guard Kyle Guy said after the game.

While the final score means more than any of the other numbers from the game, there were a few interesting stats from the national championship game.

With Wednesday marking the one-year anniversary of Virginia’s national championship, let’s take a look back at five interesting stats from the win over Texas Tech.

1. Ty Jerome surpassed 1,000 career points in the title game

Jerome entered the national championship game with 995 points. He scored 16 points on 16 shots to became the 49th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club. Jerome finished his Virginia career with 1,011 points.

The guard averaged 13.6 points per game on the season. Jerome took it to another level in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 20.3 points over the final three games of the year to reach the 1,000-point threshold. He also excelled as a passer in the final three games, racking up 21 assists to just four turnovers.

2. Virginia went 18-for-18 at the free-throw line in two OT NCAA Tournament games

Virginia’s national title run featured numerous thrilling finishes. The Cavaliers found ways to pull out close victories to push themselves into the winner’s circle at the end of the season.

In the overtime win over Purdue, the Cavaliers were a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. In the national championship win over Texas Tech, UVa shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in the extra session.

Interestingly, it wasn’t just one Cavalier knocking down clutch free throws late. Kyle Guy led the way with a 4-for-4 mark in overtime, but Mamadi Diakite, De’Andre Hunter, Braxton Key and Ty Jerome all went 2-for-2 from the line in the final five minutes of play.

3. Three straight games with at least one player making four 3-pointers

No Virginia player made four 3-pointers in a game through the first three rounds of the tournament. That changed in the final three rounds. At least one Cavalier made at least four shots from the 3-point line in the Elite Eight, Final Four and national championship game.

In the championship, Guy and Hunter both knocked down four shots from beyond the arc. Hunter went 4-of-5, including a make to trey the game at the end of regulation to help send the game to overtime. Good 3-point shooting helped push the Cavaliers to a national title.

4. Guy, Hunter and Jerome took 47 of the team’s 59 shots, 15 of 23 free throws

UVa’s “Big 3” led the way in the national championship.

The trio took 79.7% of the team’s shots and 65.2% of the team’s free throws. They also accounted for 67 of the team’s 85 points (77.8%).

“These three all year have been unbelievable,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “If one was a little off, someone picked up the team.”

All three players were selected in the 2019 NBA Draft.

5. Hunter finished the Final Four with 41 points, 14 rebounds and just two fouls

Hunter played tremendous basketball all season, but he played his best in the final moments. He scored 41 points on 15-of-27 shooting in the final two games of the season. He also added 14 rebounds and committed just two fouls in the two games in Minneapolis.

In the championship game, he finished with a career-high 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He also added nine rebounds in the win.

“I just tried to be aggressive,” Hunter said. “I was aggressive in the first half, I believe, but my shots just weren’t falling. And I tried to do the same thing in the second half, and my shots were falling.”

The eventual No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft needed to deliver for UVa to win the national championship. He delivered the best scoring performance of his collegiate career.

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