In a March Madness run full of close calls and late comebacks, it was Virginia’s most clutch player that took home the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award.
Cavaliers guard Kyle Guy won the honor after posting 39 points on 13-of-26 shooting between his team’s wins over Auburn and Texas Tech at the Final Four. That’s a pretty good comeback after posting just six points on 4-of-23 shooting in the first two rounds of the tournament.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 9, 2019
Of course, Guy’s win is less about production and more about the big moments he delivered. The most memorable was obviously the final seconds of Auburn game in the Final Four, when Guy stepped to the free throw line with one second left and sank all three for the win.
“I know he's a young man of faith and he has great confidence in himself, and he's honest, and he's just got it,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “He did it again and made big shots, and I've seen that from -- you look at him, and he's not the most physical guy, but it's inside.”
Guy led Virginia in scoring this season with 15.2 points per game while also chipping in 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. His 116 3-pointers made led the ACC, while his .425 shooting from deep ranked second.
Joining Guy on the All-Tournament team were teammates De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome, as well Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and Matt Mooney.
Guy shooting Virginia to its first-ever national championship carries special meaning given what the junior went through at the end of last year’s season. As we all know, Virginia fell to 16-seed UMBC. Guy posted a lengthy and painful account of the emotions he went through following the loss on Facebook months later and later began meeting with a sports psychologist and taking anti-anxiety medication, per SB Nation.
“I think everyone on the team, as soon as the buzzer sounded and we were done with the press conference and stuff, we knew we all had the same goal in mind for next year, and that was to win a National Championship,” Guy said. “We've all had our own battles, and I said earlier that it's a really special group because we all had the same why amongst other whys, but to share the same one and to battle everything we battled through and come out on top is a fantastic feeling.”
A year later, Guy is at the top of the college basketball world.
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