Virginia vs Texas Tech
April 8, 2019 – 7:20pm MT
One more game remains until the 2019 NCAA National Champion is crowned. The Virginia Cavaliers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders were the two teams that survived the Final Four round and are set to face on Monday night.
This will be both Virginia and Texas Tech’s first time playing for the championship trophy. The game is expected to be slow and low-scoring due to their playing styles.
No.1 seed Virginia
- The Cavaliers are known for their slow pace
- Pack-line defense
- Defense allows opponents an average of 55.5 points per game (less than the Red Raiders, who allow 58.8)
- Junior guard Kyle Guy leads the offense by averaging 15.2 points per game. He shoots three-pointers at 42.5 percent
Final Four result: Virginia 63, Auburn 62
Virginia snuck into the final round during the last second after Auburn’s Samir Doughty fouled Kyle Guy during a three-point attempt. Guy hit all of his shots to help his team take the final lead of the night.
Virginia controlled the pace of this game but Auburn was adjusting and had a real chance at winning. The ending was controversial. While most people agree Doughty did indeed commit the foul, a lot of people also saw the referees miss a call on a double-dribble when Virginia’s Ty Jerome was coming over halfcourt and dribbled the ball off his foot.
The irony for Auburn is that the Tigers almost didn’t make it past the first round of the tournament with a tight game against New Mexico State. Auburn led 78-76 but then fouled the Aggies with 1.1 seconds left. The Tigers escaped solely because the Aggies only hit one of their three shots from the charity line.
"I think when you play hard defense, you understand the value of offensively how mentally tough you have to be and how sound you have to be." – Bennett on Texas Tech defense 🔶⚔️🔷 #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/wO1VGQyDp7
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) April 7, 2019
No. 3 seed Texas Tech
- The Red Raiders are known for their defense
- Head Coach Chris Beard was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year
- Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver leads the team in scoring (18.6 points), in rebounds (6.3) and assists (3.7)
- They switch on almost every screen
Final Four result: Texas Tech 61, Michigan State 51
The Red Raider defense limited the Spartans to 31.9 percent shooting. The score for the first half of the game combined for 44 points with Texas Tech leading 23-21. This was the lowest-scoring half in a Final Four game since 2000.
The Texas Tech offense wasn’t exactly going crazy, but a five-minute stretch during the second period saw a 16-7 run that allowed the Red Raiders to take their largest lead of the night at 50-38. During the postgame press conference, Beard talked about defense, but also the importance of having an offense that compliments it.
“When we take care of the ball and we play at the right pace and tempo, it allows us to do the things we want to do on defense. I think Virginia is very, very similar. I think their offense is explosive, but it works together with defense,” he said.