MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Virginia's first national championship will no doubt be celebrated deep into the summer but the ramifications for the Virginia basketball program will be much more profound.
The redemption complete, the celebration sweet, but UVA's national championship now shifts the balance of power due North in the ACC and helps make Virginia even more of a destination for the nation's finest recruits.
"When they came on the recruiting visit, I remember telling them, 'Look, the foundation has been laid by guys you know like Joe and Malcolm are here and all the guys that went before. And we had won some ACC championships, been to the Elite Eight, I said we're asking to build on that foundation and even that house and that's going to be the hardest step but if you're willing. I said we'll take a chance that's why I mentioned the 'Rocky' poster I said I want guys who want a chance at a title fight," said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.
"Yeah, Coach isn't going to compromise on taking a five-star recruit if he's not the right fit. But I hope that people see that we can win in March, and you know that Coach is easily the most genuine and transparent coach you're going to find out there. Him, the strength coach,Ty and 'dre that's reason I came here and this is the reason we came here," said Final Four MVP Kyle Guy.
In the face of great adversity, Bennett never compromised his program's principles. You have to believe the same will be true after he enjoys a great triumph.