A year has passed since Virginia’s first national hoops title

chris graham final fourA year ago today, I was sitting a few feet behind Jim Nantz, looking up at the floor of the national championship game.

I’ll never forget how loud it was for the roughly two and a half hours as Virginia and Texas Tech dueled.

Or the confetti falling from above as De’Andre Hunter flung the final rebound toward the heavens.

I have some of that confetti in a Final Four bag in my upstairs studio. It is to be buried with me whenever it is that my soul leaves this realm for the next, along with the shoes that I wore that night, and touched the floor that the game was played on.

So much of that night is a blur.

I’m not from the generation of sportswriters that maintains strict impartiality when it comes to the games that I cover.

I grew up rooting for Virginia hoops, beginning in the late 1970s, and I hate to admit, but readily do, that a key reason I decided to attend the University of Virginia was the access to free student tickets to games.

From here forward, April 8 will be a special day, maybe, and I’m not exaggerating, more special than my own birthday.

I mean, great, I was born on June 22; that was going to happen anyway.

I never thought I’d see April 8.

Story by Chris Graham


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

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