NCAA

Kyle Guy's free throws send Virginia to first-ever NCAA Tournament final

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Kyle Guy's free throws send Virginia to first-ever NCAA Tournament final

And that's why it's called March Madness.

Virginia trailed Auburn 62-60 in the final seconds of their Final Four matchup Saturday. But as UVA guard Kyle Guy caught the ball and put up a last-second three, he was fouled by Auburn's Samir Doughty. 

Guy stepped to the line and cooly sunk all three free throws, giving UVA the 63-62 lead. The Tigers' desperate attempt to hit a buzzer-beater failed, and the Cavaliers celebrated reaching their first-ever NCAA Tournament final. 

“I could lie to you and say I knew I was going to hit them, but I was terrified," Guy told CBS' Tracy Wolfson after the game. "I had confidence in myself, but this is what we dream of. And for me to be able to do this for our team, I couldn't be happier."

To quote Bill Raftery: "Onions!"

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A win’s a win: Virginia improves to 4-0 after escaping a scare by ODU

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A win’s a win: Virginia improves to 4-0 after escaping a scare by ODU

The Virginia Cavaliers were given quite a scare on Saturday but managed to battle back from a 17-0 deficit for the hard-fought 28-17 win over Old Dominion.

In the last 15 seasons, the Cavaliers have trailed by double digits going into halftime in 38 games. Before Saturday, they came back to win only one of those games. Virginia improved to 2-37 after rallying to defeat the Monarchs and are 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2004.

The good: The defensive recovery

It’s hard to win when you spot the other team 17 points. UVA needed its defense to step up after a horrific start and they did, not allowing a single point the rest of the game after the Monarchs took a 17-0 lead.

After the first three drives, Virginia forced six punts, two turnovers on downs and a pick-six and allowed only 94 total yards of offense.

That’s one hell of an adjustment by the defense and it saved the game as the offense sputtered for most of the night.

The bad: The start

As good as the defense was for most of the game, they sure were terrible at the star. Virginia dug themselves a 17-0 hole as ODU marched down the field in each of their first three possessions. The Monarchs got the ball to start and went 74 yards in 11 plays before settling for a field goal. The next drive they sent 48 yards in five plays for a touchdown and they recorded a second touchdown after than it nine plays and 89 yards.

That’s three drives, 17 points and 211 yards of offense.  Yikes.

The ugly: Bryce Perkins’ injury scare

After a fantastic 15 yard run in which Perkins turned what looked like a sure loss into a nice gain, the very next play was almost a disaster. The snap took Perkins by surprise and he scrambled back after the ball. As he tried to get on top of it, he was obliterated by Keion White. Virginia eventually was able to pounce on the loose ball and the play was negated by an offside penalty, but Perkins stayed down on the field.

After several minutes that felt like an absolute eternity to all Cavalier fans, Perkins was able to get up and trot off the field. He sat out the one required play before returning to the game, thus disaster was averted for UVA.

Perkins was the Cavaliers’ most dynamic player yet again on the night as he led the team in rushing with 35 yards, threw for an additional 175 yards and recorded two touchdowns.

How to Watch Virginia vs. Old Dominion: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

How to Watch Virginia vs. Old Dominion: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder was looking forward to catching Virginia in a more vulnerable state when the Monarchs added the Cavaliers to their schedule.

"I was really hoping when we scheduled this game three years ago that they wouldn't be this good if I'm being 100% truthful," Wilder said earlier this week about ODU's game Saturday night at No. 21 Virginia. "But I've been upstairs all morning studying them. They are a really good football team."

The Monarchs face an uphill battle to make headlines with an upset of the Cavaliers.

Virginia (3-0) is looking for its best start since 2004 when the Cavaliers won their first five games of the season. The Monarchs (1-1), in just their 11st season since reinstituting the football program, are coming of a 31-17 loss at Virginia Tech two weeks ago.

An early bye may have allowed ODU to prepare a few surprises for Virginia, but Wilder isn't sure.

"I think they are a complete football team," Wilder said, "and what I mean by that is they are solid in all aspects."

The Cavaliers are coming off a 31-24 victory against Florida State in a game they trailed for much of the contest. But Virginia fans were out in force for the matchup. The crowd -- 57,826 -- was the largest for the Cavaliers at home since Notre Dame visited to start the 2015 season.

"I was thrilled with the attendance and the support we received in our stadium," coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Clearly made a difference for our team."

Virginia vs. Old Dominion Week 4:

Who: Virginia Cavaliers (3-0) vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (1-1)

What: Week 4 of the 2019 college football regular season

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, noon ET

Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Virginia

TV Channel: ESPN2

Live Stream: WatchESPN 

Radio: Virginia Sports Online or ODU Sports Radio Network

Point Spread: -28

Over/Under: 46

Weather: 88 degrees, sunny

Virginia 2019 season schedule:

Week 1: Saturday, Aug. 31, Virginia vs. Pittsburgh (30-14, W)

Week 2: Friday, Sept. 6, Virginia vs. William & Mary (52-17, W)

Week 3: Saturday, Sept. 14, Virginia vs. Florida State (31-24, W)

Week 4: Saturday, Sept. 21, Virginia vs. Old Dominion, 7:00 p.m.

Week 5: Saturday, Sept. 28, Virginia vs. Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m.

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: Friday, Oct. 11, Virginia vs. Miami, 8:00 p.m.

Week 8: Saturday, Oct. 19, Virginia vs. Duke, TBA

Week 9: Saturday, Oct. 26, Virginia vs. Louisville, TBA

Week 10: Saturday, Nov. 2, Virginia vs. North Carolina, TBA

Week 11: Saturday, Nov. 9, Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, TBA

Week 12: BYE

Week 13: Saturday, Nov. 23, Virginia vs. Liberty, TBA

Week 14: Friday, Nov. 29, Virginia vs. Virginia Tech, TBA

Associated Press assisted in the contribution of this story.