National Championship Rewind: A Game For The Ages

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Virginia advanced to the Final Four.
Kyle Guy hit a couple of crazy corner 3’s during the game. ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

When Virginia hosted its Night With The National Champions recently, Tony Bennett remarked to reporters that the Purdue game in the Elite Eight was one of the best games he’d ever been a part of as a player or coach, something the replay confirmed when he watched it. He shared that story this week as well on the College Hoops Today podcast with Jon Rothstein.

As he told reporters that at the John Paul Jones Arena, I nodded because after witnessing that showdown in Louisville, it was clear live just how good of a game it was. I hadn’t watched the replay yet. I had been delaying the rewatch segments for the NCAA Tournament’s final three games, in part due to busy times and in part to preserve the untouched memories of seeing it live.

With Coach Bennett’s thoughts fresh in my mind, though, I decided to dive into the Purdue game on replay for the first time for the latest installment in this series. And, well …

You Can Say That Again

In Louisville, I remember looking around the Yum! Center and feeling how loud the place was throughout the night. Purdue fans had painted the building black with hints of gold. UVA fans were outnumbered but boisterous. I don’t know if all Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games have that atmosphere