Jim Nantz said, "It's the all-time turnaround title!". The University of Virginia basketball program went from the wrong side of history to cutting down the nets a year later.
We continue with our March Madness-inspired Rebound series of the Shadows Podcast with Kyle Guy! Kyle was the 2016 Mr. Basketball in Indiana, McDonald's All-American, 2-time First-Team All-ACC, 2-time Third Team-All American, 2018 ACC Tournament MVP, 2019 Final Four MOP, National Champion at the University of Virginia, and currently a member of the first-place Miami Heat.
This episode takes us through the recruitment process and how even though he dreamed of playing basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers, he ultimately ended up at Virginia. How did it feel the first time he suited up for the Cavaliers? Why did he consider transferring after his freshman year?
The Virginia basketball team was #1 in the country and coming off an ACC Tournament title. They went into the 2018 NCAA Tournament as solid favorites to cut down the nets at the end of the season. Then history was made on March 16, 2018, in Charlotte, North Carolina, when the unthinkable happened. The #16 seeded UMBC Retrievers shocked the sports world and defeated Kyle and the #1 seed Virginia Cavaliers for the first time ever. What was their mindset before the game? When did he get an uneasy sense that that wasn't their night? What was the leadership lesson Coach Tony Bennett taught him that night? Listen to Kyle explain how the team had to be escorted into the hotel due to death threats.
“If you learn to use it right, the adversity, it will buy you a ticket to a place you could not have gone any other way.” Tony Bennett
Virginia used that loss as motivation and made a dramatic run through the 2019 NCAA Tournament en route to a national title. Listen to Kyle walk us through being faced with a familiar deficit a year later against a #16 Gardner Webb. He also talks about the pressure of hitting clutch shots and free throws in three of the greatest college basketball games ever played: The Regional Finals against Purdue, the National Semifinals against Auburn, and the National Championship against Texas Tech.
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