Virginia's victory came one year after suffering a historic upset against No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round.
It took 27 points and nine rebounds from Hunter to get his team going even to the point of forcing Texas Tech into overtime. Guard Kyle Guy contributed 24 points and three assists. Hunter swished a three-pointer, the game went to overtime and Virginia dominated, earning its first men's basketball national championship.
This marks the third consecutive comeback for the Cavaliers when they trailed with under 12 seconds left in regulation.
"De'Andre [Hunter] usually lets it come, and that - I think he grew up in a way in this tournament in the second half of the Auburn game, and definitely - and he was getting his shots, but he just - you saw it in him, and that - when he puts that into it, boy, he's special", Coach Tony Bennett said. A Texas Tech fan threw a tortilla shell onto the court during a Virginia offensive possession with 4:40 to go in the first half and the Red Raiders leading 25-21.
"With a 3-point lead. we're trying to play really sound defense with three objectives: No 3-point shots, no 'and-ones, ' and we've got to secure the defensive rebounds, " Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.
By Monday night, Guy and the Cavaliers had the final word.
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The nation's best defense couldn't afford to give up a 3, but Jerome skipped a pass to Hunter, who was open on the wing - and spotted up and drained it. Culver missed a 3 with Guy in his face with a second left, and we were headed to overtime, the first extra session in the final since Kansas beat Memphis in 2008. Hunter will go there with a title. When Culver tied the game with two free throws with 2:38 remaining in the half, Hunter pulled up a jumper from the right side of the free throw line to regain the lead.
"I'm a confident player and my teammates, they feed me a lot of confidence", Guy said, adding: "I'm going to shoot whether it's falling or not".
Brandone Francis led the Red Raiders with 17 points.
Hunter made a tough shot over Culver to make it 63-61, and a Guy lay-in had the Cavaliers' lead back out to four.
"That's just something I always wanted to do", Hunter said.
"I just tried to be aggressive", Hunter said.
"I'm all ears: they can say what they want", Guy said. The last time the NCAA had a first-time champion was thirteen years ago when the University of Florida bested UCLA in 2006. "We just embraced all those questions".