The 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has seen plenty of upsets, and there are two surprise teams meeting up in the National Championship Game. Virginia came into the Final Four as the lone number 1 seed remaining, and came away with a remarkable victory in the semifinals. Texas Tech was a number 3 seed to begin the NCAA Tournament, and they have pulled off a number of huge upsets to get to this point. Virginia and Texas Tech are the two best defensive teams in the country this season, and there won’t be many points scored in this game.
Texas Tech upset number 1 seed Gonzaga in the West Regional Final, and they carried that momentum into their semifinal win over Michigan State. The Red Raiders have been putting on defensive clinics so far in this NCAA Tournament, and they have shown off their athleticism. Texas Tech was the regular season champion in the Big 12 Conference this season, and they are worthy of being in the title game. Virginia was bounced in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and they have been on a mission to make people forget about that game all season long. The Cavaliers were ACC Regular season champions, and have lost just three games all season long. The Virginia Cavaliers are -1.5 point favorites over Texas Tech in this game.
Guards Carrying Virginia Team
Even though most people won’t talk about the offensive prowess of Virginia, they do have a trio of veteran guards who are among the best players in the country. Kyle Guy leads the team with 15.6 points per game this season and hit the three clutch free-throws to get the Cavaliers into this game. Point guard Ty Jerome had 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win over Auburn and sets the tone for Virginia. De’Andre Hunter is the best overall player for Virginia and is shooting 42 percent from the three-point line.
The Cavaliers don’t have a ton of depth, and they played just two subs for a total of 18 minutes in the semifinal game. Center Jack Salt has had some big games for Virginia this season but took just 1 shot in the victory over Auburn. Virginia gets the job done on defense, and that will be their strategy again in this game. The Cavaliers lead all division-1 teams this season, allowing just 55.5 points per game this season.
Red Raiders Will Need to Make Shots
If Texas Tech is going to find a way to score on Virginia, then they are going to have to make some three-point shots. The Red Raiders are shooting 37 percent from deep so far as a team, but Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti are elite shooters. Mooney poured in a career-high 22 points in the semifinal victory over Michigan State and isn’t afraid to take and make big shots. Texas Tech got 15 points from their bench in the semifinal victory, and they have much more depth than Virginia.
The Red Raiders are holding opponents to just 58.8 points per game so far this season, and their defensive field goal percentage is the best in the country. Texas Tech has an elite shot blocker on the back end in Tariq Owens, and he will keep the Virginia guards from getting inside. Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver is one of the best players in the country and leads the team with 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists this season.
Cavaliers Get Ultimate Revenge
Virginia was the laughing stock of college basketball a season ago, but they have bounced back in a huge way this season. The Cavaliers have been on a mission all season long, and they showed their guts in the semifinals. Texas Tech came out of nowhere to win the Big 12 this season, and they can shut down any team in the country. The Red Raiders have had a great season, but Virginia is going to finish off their comeback story with a National Championship. Bet the Virginia Cavaliers -1.5 over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.