LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tyler Jenkins just finished up his own playing career at Bellarmine but he experienced winning a Division I National Championship on Monday night.
Jenkins was in the stands in Minneapolis as his childhood buddy, who also happens to be his sisters fiance, won the title. Kyle Guy and Jenkins sister, Alexa, will get married July 25 in Hawaii.
“There’s not really a whole lot of words to describe it,” Jenkins said.
Tyler was shown on CBS minutes after the final buzzer of UVA’s 85-77 overtime win over Texas Tech. Jenkins had his arms up with his hands on his head.
“The people that saw me in the video, you know they’re watching TV and stuff, I was just standing like this, and usually this is something you see when you feel like you lost and this is a bad thing,” he said. “I didn’t, I couldn’t fathom that it was happening and that was before he even got named Most Outstanding Player, then that happened and I was just like, I almost started crying because I mean the story behind it is insane. To go from making history, the wrong end of history, losing to UMBC and a 16 seed and then turning around and winning the whole thing, immediately, the year after, and the one person that wrote about having anxiety and internal conflict because of the loss ends up leading them to that championship. It’s mind blowing.”
The tension was palpable for Virginia’s last three tournament games. Down three to Purdue with :05 seconds left, needing a miracle missed free throw, deflection into the back court, pass ahead, and buzzer beater just to force overtime. Virginia beat the Boilermakers 80-75 in OT.
Then came the Final Four. Trailing Auburn by two with 1.6 seconds left, when Guy was fouled while attempting a three-pointer. He calmly stepped to the line and knocked down all three free throws for a 63-62 Virginia win.
“He walked up there like it was nothing, knocked them down and the last one, he shot it and before the ball went through the net, he was halfway to the back court,” Jenkins said. “He was on his way to play defense. He knew it was going in. I would be lying if I said my heart wasn’t pounding super fast when he went up to go shoot those free throws. Man, the guy is incredible.”
Jenkins and Guy first met when they were 14 or 15 years-old. “We spent a lot of time training together, a lot of long hours, real early mornings. I’ve seen the side that no one appreciates,” Jenkins recalls.
Alexa Jenkins is about to graduate from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. She has already been accepted to Notre Dame Law School. Tyler has already graduated from Bellarmine and is working on his Masters.
Will Kyle Guy return to Virginia for his senior season? Tyler is not giving any hints.
“I don’t have any inside information on that. I know that the league is what his aspirations are. His stock is never going to be higher than it is now. I guess the only thing that he could do to top what he’s done is to repeat it.”
Based on what we just saw, I wouldn’t bet against Guy.
Jenkins documented Virginia’s NCAA run on his vlog. Check it out at youtube.com/tylerjenkins