Virginia basketball made me question why I love sports activities

by Marie Rodriguez

More times than I care to confess, I’ve thought to myself, “why do I do this?”

“This” in this case, is sports. Just sports activities in general.

One 12 months and 25 days ago, I changed into taken aback and trying to figure out what had come about. The No. 1 average seed Virginia Cavaliers had simply gotten their asses kicked by means of the No. Sixteen seeded UMBC Retrievers inside the first round of the NCAA event. Stunned doesn’t accurately describe the feeling.

“Do you need to weblog via it?” one in every one of my editors asked.

Honestly? My first thought became, “my goodness no I don’t want to put in writing about this. This become one of the worst nights of my existence.”

I concept about if for a minute, then agreed. The ensuing blog turned into cathartic as I got to pour my feelings into an empty web page. My grandmother had exceeded away the same week, and I attended her funeral the day earlier than the Cavaliers made records within the manner you never want to see happen.

But running a blog helped me get via it. All of it.

Now, 390 days later, I’m blogging to assist me to get via it once more. Except for this time, I watched one of the most top-notch — if now not the most superb — runs of basketball I’ve ever seen. The Virginia Cavaliers streaked through Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, Oregon, Purdue, Auburn, and Texas Tech over 3 weeks to win this system’s first-ever countrywide championship.

I in no way dreamt I would have a danger to cover a Final Four, not to mention cover my alma mater winning a countrywide identify. From the pomp and situation of the event to the real gameplay, the entire revel in turned into mind-blowing.

For the Virginia enthusiasts, it’s wasn’t simply getting over the Final Four hump or getting that first countrywide championship. The eighty five-seventy seven wins over the extremely good talented Red Raiders within the very last change into a big middle finger to all of the haters who say the Cavaliers are boring. To folks that say they’re “ruining basketball”. To folks that suppose they sluggish down the pace because they can’t be triumphant any other manner. To folks that assume Bennett’s fashion “received’t work” in March find it irresistible one way or the other magically can take down the Dukes and UNCs of the arena in February, but not the UMBCs days later. To people who suppose they don’t have athletes or depend upon a gimmicky defense.

It virtually wasn’t easy. All it took became a miracle play towards Purdue, 3 free throws from Kyle Guy to take a lead with 0.6 seconds left against Auburn, and a De’Andre Hunter 3-pointer to force time beyond regulation towards Texas Tech to keep the dream alive.

But, that is precisely why we do this. Why we deal with the UMBC jokes for 390 days. Why we still keep out desire whilst Carsen Edwards banks in his 10th and very last 3-pointer of the sport with 1:10 left. Why you somehow nonetheless believe down 4 with seven seconds left in opposition to Auburn. Why you wear the equal pants and blouse and socks and underclothes on game day due to the fact you know deep, deep down that it actually does depend.

For all of the UMBCs, there’s eventually a Texas Tech, and the lows will never remotely contact the highs. As Bennett stated, “If you discover ways to use it right, the adversity, it will buy you a price tag to a place which you couldn’t have gotten to every other manner.”

Virginia lovers would have been ecstatic with an identity at any factor, but the dealing with the extreme low in close proximity of handling the acute high makes you understand simply how superb this sense truly is.

The Virginia Cavaliers are the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions. It’s excellent.

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