UVA's Kyle Guy Named 2019 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IApril 9, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 08:  Kyle Guy #5 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrate his teams 85-77 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders to win the the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers captured their first men's NCAA national championship by defeating No. 3 Texas Tech 85-77 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Monday night.

Additionally, junior guard Kyle Guy will travel back to Charlottesville with something he couldn't have dreamed to add to his wedding registry, as he was named the Most Outstanding Player.

Without Guy, the Hoos would not have advanced to the title game. In Virginia's Final Four matchup with No. 5 Auburn on Saturday, he earned a foul while shooting a last-ditch three-pointer with one second remaining.

Virginia trailed Auburn 62-60, but the 2016 IndyStar Mr. Basketball stepped to the line with ice in his veins and made all three free throws to send his squad through.

Monday night, Guy finished with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting and four buckets from three-point land.

Guy was the team's leading scorer this season, averaging 15.2 points prior to the title game, but still entered the Final Four +400 to win Most Outstanding Player.

Arguments could be made for two of Guy's teammates as this year's Most Outstanding Player, which just illustrates the strength of Virginia as a whole.

Monday night, sophomore swingman De'Andre Hunter led all scorers with 27 after he entered halftime with just five points. It was Hunter's corner three with 12 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 68 and forced an overtime period.

Junior guard Ty Jerome was a consistent producer throughout this tournament run and posted 21 points on 50 percent shooting against Auburn, narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Against Texas Tech, Jerome nailed a three at the halftime buzzer to give Virginia some swagger and a 32-29 lead. He finished with 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Guy, Hunter and Jerome were all named to the 2019 All-Tournament Team alongside Texas Tech's Matt Mooney and Jarrett Culver.

Beyond the box scores, Guy has emerged as the Hoos' leader on the court, coming up poised in the biggest moments and keeping the Cavaliers even-keeled during scoring droughts. However, his demeanor this year was built through the devastation of his team becoming the first-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed last year.

SB Nation's Anna Katherine Clemmons detailed Guy's anxiety throughout last season and wrote about how the aftermath of Virginia's loss to No. 16 UMBC on March 16, 2018, exacerbated it:

"The challenges and triumphs of UVA's redemptive season have meant accepting that his basketball journey is no longer his own. There's no fix for the fact that so many people have invested their emotions into how he and the Cavaliers perform, but he can help himself as best he can.

"'Since last year was so rough for me, I approached this year differently,' Guy says. 'I'm taking more of a business aspect. This is my job, I want to use it as a vehicle to success. I still have love for it, but there's more days that are hard for me to get through than there used to be in basketball.'

"Mentally, that progression has been steady. After a summer of healing, ... Guy has found himself in a much better place."

After Monday night, Guy hopefully can find more joy in his 2018-19 efforts. He, his teammates and head coach Tony Bennett are now immortalized in Hoos history forever.

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