Despite a 16-point lead in the second half, Virginia managed to open the door for the Crying Michael Jordan meme to invade, somehow losing to Syracuse in the Elite Eight round and completing an epic choke job.
More than anyone, Virginia have dealt quite easily with the Syracuse 2-3 defense that frustrates so many others. So in an act of desperation, after getting blown out in the first half and scoring just 21 points, head coach Jim Boeheim went to desperate mode and put his team in a full court press until the end. It didn’t work for a couple of possessions, but his players adjusted. Virginia never did.
So in the year they finally don’t get to clash with Michigan State, Virginia lose to the team no one wants to see in the tournament. Yes, they’re hated because they’re Syracuse and were caught cheating not too long ago. But their regular season record wasn’t that good.
However, it doesn’t matter. In the tournament, they’ve been knocking off teams left and right. Dayton and Middle Tennessee at first, without anyone being impressed. Then Gonzaga, who usually find the Sweet 16 a bit difficult to get across. But Virginia? A #1 seed who were built perfectly to beat the Syracuse defense? The Orange are relishing the hate, moving on to the Final Four, not apologizing for one, single thing.