Parise On Virginia: "This Story Should Be A Script"

Virginia has made history in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments; this year was the good kind

Tiki and Tierney
April 09, 2019 - 5:13 pm

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Last year, Virginia suffered one of the most humiliating losses in college basketball history, becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in the NCAA Tournament. That loss could have derailed the program or cost Tony Bennett his job.

It did neither. Instead, Virginia stayed the course and won its first national championship in program history Monday, outlasting Texas Tech 85-77 in an overtime thriller.

“Really, this entire story should just be a script for young athletes, for young coaches, for young people in this business,” Vin Parise said on Tiki & Tierney. “Twelve months ago up until now, how Tony Bennett handled that adversity and how this team stuck together and (to) now come full circle (was incredible).”

Bennett had led Virginia to 30+ wins in four of the last six seasons but had never reached a Final Four. Well, he now has a Final Four – and a national title – on his resume. The Cavaliers may have white-knuckled their way to the championship – they won each of their last three games by one point or in overtime – but a win is a win is a win. 

And the win over Texas Tech exceeded just about everyone’s expectations.

“People were talking about this game like it was going to be in the 50s,” Parise said. “I thought both teams with the talent on both ends were probably a little undervalued offensively coming into this one. You obviously have multiple first-round draft picks. You’ve got a couple lottery picks in there. Look at the points that were scored in this game and the performances from both sides. I think if you’re a hoops junkie, it was still great basketball on both ends.”

De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome scored 67 of Virginia’s 85 points, while five Red Raiders finished in double figures.

"I think the entire tournament was one of the best second or third weekends we’ve ever seen,” Parise said. “When you look at the margin for error in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games, (it’s) no surprise this Final Four was off-the-charts as well.”