Virginia still celebrating Final Four berth


MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – APRIL 04: Mamadi Diakite #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers speaks to the media in the locker room prior to the 2019 NCAA Tournament Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 4, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) — Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite and Kihei Clark haven’t been able to resist watching multiple replays of their season-saving play that helped the Cavaliers reach the Final Four.

Clark ran down a tapped-out missed free throw in the final seconds of regulation in Saturday’s regional final against Purdue. He passed ahead to Diakite for a buzzer-beating shot that forced overtime and ultimately helped Virginia reach its first Final Four since 1984.

The play was a popular topic of conversation during locker-room interviews Thursday in Minneapolis, too.

Diakite said he had received a standing ovation in a class and has been getting many picture or autograph requests. Asked how many times he watched the replay, Diakite said: “I don’t know any more. I lost count after 45.”

Clark said watching the play seems longer now, but “it went by so fast in the game.”

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