Tech grew tough negotiating the minefield of the Big 12, sharing the regular-season title.
Both teams shook off very bad offensive starts to the game to play a thrilling, back-and-forth final 25 minutes.
As confetti fell, several Tech players sank to their knees on the court. Tariq Owens, playing on a sprained ankle, wrapped his arm around Mooney in the locker room. The bettor - who wished to remain anonymous - wanted to place an even higher stake, but SuperBook director John Murray declined: "He's a well-known player who takes a lot of future positions with us", he told ESPN. "So he's just been great all year for us and the other teams".
Jerome penetrated into the paint and looked like he might try the same floater he missed just a possession earlier, but instead floated a pass out to the corner to Hunter, who caught the ball near his head, reloaded it into his shooting pocket and fired away, splashing a triple with 14 seconds left to tie the game. He made two free throws after catching his own putback to put Virginia up 17-7.
"I was feeling it all night, hit me right in my pocket", Hunter said.
The Cavaliers (35-3) got clutch performances from Hunter (27 points) and junior Kyle Guy (24 points), hitting the shots that didn't fall for Tech opponents such as Michigan, Gonzaga and Michigan State in the tournament.
This was the moment Guy had dreamed of for the past year that had followed that still-incomprehensible loss to UMBC - the first time a No. 1 seed had lost to a No. 16 in tournament history.
"Every game we've had, it's been a battle", Mamade Diakite, who had 9 points and 7 rebounds in the win, said. "I just tried to do the same thing in the second half, and my shots were falling". And who drew Jarrett Culver on defense in a battle of predicted National Basketball Association lottery picks and held him to 15 points on 5-of-22 shooting.
US House to sue to block Trump border wall funding action
At another point, he said , "If the drugs don't stop, we'll tariff the cars". He gave the country a deadline to do more to stop drugs or face tariffs.
Hunter erupted in the second half and overtime with 22 points.
There wasn't a ton of scoring from there, but Hunter's big shot stood up and the Cavaliers got a break as an out-of-bounds call went their way, allowing them to finish it off at the line, setting off a wild celebration.
"You guys faced pressure that no team in the history of the game has faced, well, really all year", U.Va. coach Tony Bennett said, addressing guards Kyle Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome on the interview dais after the game.
Beard's nomadic résumé and folksy anecdote for every occasion had won over the fan base, as had a Tech lineup with varied backgrounds and no blue-chip talents. Kansas' Mario Chalmers left seconds on the clock when his tree tied the 2008 title game against Memphis, and the Jayhawks went on to win in the extra period.
The NCAA Tournament will have its first first-time champion since coach Billy Donovan won it all with Florida in 2006. It almost proved costly for Virginia.
Either way, the Red Raiders struggled early.
UVa made 11 three-pointers and shot 46% from the field against one of the best defenses in the country. Tech's reserves eventually would outscore Virginia 29-6.
Tech fans even brought a Lubbock tradition to the Twin Cities. The shot-blocking senior returned after taping his ankle up, but Red Raiders coach Chris Beard declined to give an update Sunday.
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