Kauffman Stadium Kansas City

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Virginia Cavaliers Pick & Prediction, Mon Apr 08 09:20 PM

NCAAB | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Texas Tech Red Raiders
VS
Logo Virginia Cavaliers
119
OPENNER
-1

118o -110
CURRENT
-6.5 -110

-200
MONEYLINE
+140

77
SCORE
85


Two of the best defensive teams in the country vie for their first national championship when Texas Tech meets Virginia in the NCAA Tournament title game Monday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Virginia has limited opponents to a national-best 55.5 points per game and 38.4 percent shooting while the Red Raiders advanced to the final by holding Michigan State to 31.9 percent from the field in Saturday's 61-51 victory.

The Cavaliers, who became the first No. 1 seed in history to lose to a 16th seed in last season's tournament, needed three free throws from junior guard Kyle Guy with less than one second left to beat Auburn 63-62 in the semifinals. "To think this time last year we were starting our spring workouts, and to still be playing at this point in the season. ... with one other team in the whole country on the stage that you dreamed about since you were a little kid, it's an unreal feeling," Virginia junior guard Ty Jerome told reporters. "We're going to do everything we can to finish the job." Texas Tech lost five of its top six scorers from last season's Elite Eight team, but leaned on its stifling defense (58.8 points, 36.8 percent shooting against) along with the emergence of Big 12 Player of the Year Jarrett Culver (18.6 points) and third-year coach Chris Beard molded the team into one capable of something special. "(Beard) said (last summer), we have enough in this gym, in this locker room right here to play on the final Monday night," Red Raiders senior guard Matt Mooney told reporters after matching his season high with 22 points Saturday. ". ... He might be psychic because here we are on the final Monday night. We just believed him and believed in each other all year long."

TV: 9:20 p.m. ET, CBS LINE: Check Intertops for the latest line [litr]

ABOUT TEXAS TECH (31-6): Mooney, who averages 11.3 points overall, drained 4-of-8 from 3-point range Saturday while Culver (10 points, 3-of-12 shooting) struggled, with Beard telling reporters: "Matt had the courage to step up and take those shots. He's making plays on both ends. ... He's a special player." Sophomore guard Davide Moretti (11.4 points) saw his streak of 11 straight double-figure games end with five in the semifinal, but senior guard Brandone Francis scored nine off the bench against Michigan State. Senior forward Tariq Owens (8.8 points, team-high 2.5 blocks) suffered an ankle injury in the second half Saturday, but was able to return to the floor.



ABOUT VIRGINIA (34-3): Guy struggled shooting in the first three games of the tournament (8-for-38 overall, 3-for-26 from 3-point range), but has warmed up the last two (13-for-30, 7-for-18) while averaging 20 points. Guy leads the team overall (15.2) while sophomore swingman De'Andre Hunter (14.9), who missed last year's tournament with an injury, scored 14 on 7-of-11 shooting from the field in Saturday's victory. Jerome (13.5 points, team-high 5.4 assists) scored 24 in the South Region final against Purdue and led the way with 21 points to go along with nine boards and six assists in the semifinals, draining four 3-pointers for the second straight game.

TIP-INS

1. Virginia junior F Mamadi Diakite is averaging 10.8 points in the NCAA Tournament - 3.4 above his season mark - and blocked five shots Saturday.

2. Texas Tech senior C Norense Odiase, who has started all 36 games, is averaging 7.3 rebounds (5.3 overall) in the last four contests after hauling in nine Saturday.

3. The Cavaliers and Red Raiders have never met ... The over-under betting total of 117.5, already down from the opening line of 119, marks the lowest number since Florida-UCLA (128) in 2006.

PREDICTION: Virginia 56, Texas Tech 53

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Virginia led Texas Tech 32-29 at halftime of the NCAA national championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday.

Virginia guard Ty Jerome's triple from the top of the key ended a tug-of-war first half during which the teams combined for 10 3-pointers. The first half featured five ties and four lead changes.

For a stretch of more than six minutes, Texas Tech (31-6) answered every Virginia score

Kyle Guy's 3-pointer knotted the game at 27, answering a jumper from Texas Tech's Brandone Francis. Guy led all scorers with 10 at halftime.

Texas Tech went ahead for the first time with 5:22 left in the half. A pair of Kyler Edwards free throws broke a 21-all tie and Matt Mooney's jumper pushed the lead to four.

Virginia (34-3) looked to have Texas Tech on the ropes early, holding a 17-7 lead, until the Red Raiders dropped in 3s on three trips in a row to awaken the building. The stretch cut the Cavaliers' edge to 19-16 at the under-8 media timeout.

Texas Tech was only 1 of 11 from the floor when Francis started the barrage. Texas Tech got a triple from Edwards 32 seconds later and another from Francis with 8:24 on the clock in the first half.

Texas Tech missed its first nine field goals. Sophomore guard Davide Moretti made a 3-pointer 7:20 into the first half to break the cold snap, but the Red Raiders trailed 9-6.

--By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

 

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