The Virginia Cavaliers, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional, were trying to clinch their first appearance in the Final Four since 1984. But tenth-seeded Syracuse prevented that from happening.
When the final horn went off, the stunning Syracuse comeback was complete. UVA enjoyed a 16-point lead at one time in the second half, but in the closing minutes Syracuse outscored the Cavaliers, 25-4.
Sophomore Devon Hall of Virginia Beach had a chance to force an overtime with a three-point attempt before the horn, but it was off target.
“We played as hard as possible,” said Devon Hall. “We’re not ever short of effort. Coach always talks about how we’re not short on effort.”
The coach is Tony Bennett, who knows for now the loss stings. “Absolutely joy will come in the morning for what these guys have established for Virginia basketball,” said Bennett.
UVA finished with a record of 29-8.