Congratulations to the University of Virginia Cavaliers for winning their first men’s basketball national championship. This is the 15th championship for an Atlantic Coast Conference school which ties the total of the Pac-12.
Virginia (35-3) needed to survive a host of pressure-packed tests. The Cavaliers won its six tournament games by an average of 7.5 points. This is the third-smallest margin of victory for the champion since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The slim margin trails only 1985 Villanova and 1997 Arizona. Three of Virginia’s six games came down to the final possession of regulation, and they trailed in the second half of five games.
ESPN has published a ranking of every NCAA tournament champion, from 1939 to 2019. I don’t believe the ranking is valuable, but the article does provide a one paragraph overview of each of the 81 champions. The 2019 Cavaliers are slotted in at number 34.