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WHEREAS, The University of Virginia Men’s Basketball team, the Cavaliers, or as affectionately referred to, the “Hoos” or “Wahoos,” finished as the ACC Regular Season Co-Champions with a record of 28-2; and
WHEREAS, the Cavaliers, led by head coach Tony Bennett, achieved great success by playing relentless, disciplined defense and team-oriented offense that allowed them to secure a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, where the Cavaliers advanced through to the Elite Eight defeating Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, and Oregon; and
WHEREAS, in the Elite Eight the Cavaliers faced the Purdue Boilermakers in an historic game, during which junior forward Mamadi Diakite made a miraculous mid-range jump shot to send the game to overtime, and the “Hoos” were able to close out the game defeating the Boilermakers 80-75, advancing to their third Final Four in Virginia history; and
WHEREAS, in the Final Four Semifinal game against the Auburn Tigers, the Cavaliers faced a two-point deficit with 1.5 seconds remaining when junior guard Kyle Guy was sent to the free throw line, hitting all three foul shots in a heart-stopping moment that will live in Virginia lore forever defeating the Tigers 63-62; and
WHEREAS, the Cavaliers faced the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the National Championship game, both schools played tenacious defensive basketball and hit important shots throughout the game, and sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter hit a critical three-pointer with less than 15 seconds left to tie the game for Virginia; and
WHEREAS, in the overtime period of the National Championship game the Cavaliers played precise and collective basketball, making all twelve free throws to secure the game, and becoming the first Virginia team to win a National Championship in men’s basketball by defeating the Red Raiders 85-77; and
WHEREAS, guards Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter, were recognized by the ACC as members of the “Final Four All-Tournament Team,” with Guy earning the Most Outstanding Player Award for the Tournament; and
WHEREAS, every member of the team, including coaches, parents, educators, athletic trainers, tutors, supportive friends, and loved ones made this historic run possible, encouraging this team to move forward overcoming great adversity and motivating the Charlottesville community, and the entire Commonwealth, to keep the faith and strive for greatness;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 9, 2019, THE 2019 NATIONAL CHAMPION VIRGINIA CAVALIERS in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.