Texas Tech at Virginia
|Date & Time||Monday April 8, 2019, 9:20 PM (EDT)|
U.S. Bank Stadium
Virginia Cavaliers -1.5 -- O/U: 117.5
The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Virginia Cavaliers meet in the NCAA Men’s basketball national championship game from U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday night.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders punched their ticket to the title game after picking up a 61-51 win over Michigan State in their semifinal game on Saturday. Matt Mooney led the Red Raiders with 22 points on 8 of 16 shooting with 4 threes while Jarrett Culver added 10 points as the only other double-digit scorer for Texas Tech in the win. Norense Odiase led Texas Tech with 9 rebounds while Tariq Owens had 7 points with 3 blocks. Culver leads Texas Tech with an average of 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. As a team, Texas Tech is averaging 72.6 points per game on 47% shooting from the field, 36.6% from behind the arc and 72.9% from the foul line this season. Texas Tech is one of the stronger teams defensively in the country, sitting 3rd in scoring defense allowing just 58.8 points per game and tops in field goal percentage against, giving up just a 36.8% mark from the floor this season.
The Virginia Cavaliers punched their ticket to the championship after a 63-62 win over Auburn in the semifinals. Ty Jerome led the Cavaliers with 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting with 4 threes and team-highs of 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Kyle Guy came 2nd with 15 points along with 4 assists while De’Andre Hunter chipped in 14 points on 7 of 11 shooting with a pair of blocks to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Virginia in the winning effort. Mamadi Diakite also added a team-high 5 blocks as well in the victory. Guy leads Virginia in scoring with 15.2 points per game while Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 5.4 assists per game and Braxton Key leads Virginia in rebounding with 5.1 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Virginia is averaging 71.1 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field, 39.3% from behind the arc and 73.9% from the foul line this season. Virginia is also one of the best defensive units in the country, sitting tops in scoring defense allowing just 55.5 points per game along with a 38.4% mark against from the field, good for 5th in D-I and a 28.7% mark against from 3-point range, good for 4th in the country.
Texas Tech is 11-0 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record and 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games overall while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against the ACC. Virginia is 18-8 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 NCAA tournament games while the under is 6-1 in their last 7 games against the Big 12.
This has the potential to be a great game, or it could also be a game where the first team to 50 wins. With that said, I understand Virginia being favored here as they’ve been the better team offensively, however I’m one that believes that over the course of the tournament, Texas Tech has been playing the better defense. You could probably also argue that Virginia wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for a lucky bounce against Purdue and a missed call against Auburn, while Texas Tech has fought tooth and nail, taking down some stiff opposition like Gonzaga and Michigan State. I’ll take the free point with Texas Tech as I think the Red Raiders lift the trophy here. See you all next year!