NCAA

Virginia is Orange Bowl bound for the first time ever

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Virginia is Orange Bowl bound for the first time ever

The Virginia Cavaliers are headed to the Orange Bowl where they will play the Florida Gators on Dec. 30 it was announced Sunday. The Cavaliers were smoked by Clemson to the tune of 62-17 in Saturday's ACC Championship Game thus cementing the Tigers' spot in the College Football Playoff. With the conference champs in the playoff, the ACC's Orange Bowl bid then fell to the Cavaliers as the next highest-ranked ACC team.

https://twitter.com/CFBPlayoff/status/1203768009736757250

This will be Virginia's first-ever trip to the Orange Bowl.

The Hoos' opponent will be 10-2 Florida. The Gators finished the season ranked No. 9 in the final College Football Playoff rankings after a season in which their only two losses came go No. 1 LSU in Death Valley and No. 5 Georgia in a neutral site game in Jacksonville.

This is the third-straight bowl season for Bronco Mendenhall in his four seasons at UVA. Last season the Cavaliers won a decisive 28-0 victory over South Carolina in the Belk Bowl. A nine-win regular season was Virginia's first since 2007 and clinched the team's first-ever Coastal Division championship. The reward has thus far been a game against undefeated Clemson and another top-ten team in Florida. Virginia, however, will have much more time to prepare for the Gators than they did against the Tigers. They also will not be coming off an emotional rivalry win like they were in ACC Championship Game, playing just one week after their first win over rival Virginia Tech since 2003. It also gives time for star quarterback Bryce Perkins to heal who appeared to be ailing and grabbing his chest towards the end of the loss to Clemson.

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Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

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Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

There are not many videos better in this world than walk-on college athletes receiving a full-ride scholarship and their ensuing reaction. 

George Mason's men's basketball team gave everyone one of those emotional moments. Jack Tempchin, who's in his third year as a preferred walk-on for the Patriots, received the scholarship after Thursday's practice. 

His teammates reacted appropriately. 

On Twitter, the redshirt junior thanked his teammates, coaches and family who helped get him to this point. 

As a walk-on, Tempchin has only played in 16 games throughout his three years. Most of his minutes have been in garbage time of blowouts or to come in the game to pick-up a quick foul. Throughout those appearances, he's put up six points, four of them coming from the charity stripe. 

Gotta love when a player gets properly rewarded for their hard work and dedication. 

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Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Shock and disbelief were carved onto the faces of the Virginia Cavaliers as they walked off the court from their lone NCAA Tournament game in March 2018.

The top-seeded Cavaliers had just lost, as is the case for 67 of the 68 teams that enter the big dance. But their loss was different. Their loss was unprecedented. 

They had just entered the record books for all the wrong reasons. The 2018 Cavaliers became the first-ever No. 1 seed to be upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to a No. 16 seed. 

The greatest upset in college basketball history belongs to the UMBC Retrievers for their manhandling of Virginia that day. However, that unlikely victory – as incredible and monumental the feat was – is not what is highlighted today. 

That UMBC victory sparked what would become a great comeback year for Virginia. A year later, the Cavaliers would squash their demons and take home the national championship.

Both years were exceptionally dominant for Virginia. The former being the No. 1 overall seed of the tournament. Combined their records were 60-5 excluding their NCAA Tournament games. To produce such an incredible mark, they rode on the back of their intimidating defense to get there. In 2018 they were fifth in adjusted defense according to KenPom. That rose to first the year that they won it. 

With such a good defense, it left some holes on their offense. Sure, they held opponents to only 53 points but they did not muster much better on the other end of the court. Their offense was a problem and it cost them by scoring only 54 to UMBC. 

Nothing changed for Virginia the following season. Their identity – a slower pace, defense-first mindset that many regarded as the sole reason for their loss to UMBC – did not waiver. Head coach Tony Bennett just had them improve in every aspect of their game. 

Most importantly, though, they got all their key figures to return. DeAndre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome were all there to avenge the loss.

It made the celebration for the Cavaliers so much more triumphant. It was easy to feel the relief that Hunter exhaled as he chucked the basketball to the rafters as the final seconds in the national championship game ticked away. A story tale ending was complete. One that was filled with chills and narratives that the best storytellers in Hollywood could not script.