Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers Preview & Picks

Virginia players celebrates after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship

De'Andre Hunter scored a career-high 27 points, Kyle Guy added 24 and Jerome finished with 16 for the Cavaliers, who earned their first-ever national title. The Red Raiders, who weren't ranked when the season started, played with vast heart, overcoming multiple double-digit deficits to get ahead of the favored Cavaliers. The Cavaliers managed to get just two points from their bench in the semifinal win, and that could be an issue moving forward.

After an arduous summer of sweat-drenched workouts, Virginia coach Tony Bennett took his basketball team whitewater rafting at New River Gorge in neighboring West Virginia. "You need your top players to step up and make plays and he did on both ends".

Unfortunately for the Raiders, the University of Virginia had the ball.

"[Hunter's] a pro. We could have scrambled at him and ran at him a little bit more, and that might be a coaching mistake, but we were dialed in". "There wasn't one person who picked us to win".

For those with a crack at bracket pool glory, the key question is whether you should consider placing a bet on the championship game to guarantee you win money no matter the outcome.

"We started making plays", Culver said, "and that opened up the door". It's a recipe for scoring points in abundance, and, while that didn't happen in every game in the tournament, that's precisely the approach that allowed Virginia to survive Purdue in the Elite Eight.

Thirty years later, Bennett turned the Cavaliers into contenders again, but they always underachieved once the calendar turned to March. "They faced pressure through the year, through the tournament, and all that stuff played into it".

Brandone Francis led Texas Tech with 17. Tech made just one of its first 11 shots and fell behind by 10, its biggest deficit of the tournament. I know this year that there was a belief, as soon as that buzzer sounded last year, that we were going to do something special this year. We knew we were going to bounce back from past year. We can be inspired by wins, but we can learn from losses. That was the No. 16 seed that stunned the Cavs in the first round past year, its playful social media manager online Monday night tweeting congratulations shortly after the final buzzer. A year after a historic defeat, Virginia came up with a historic victory Monday night. "Not a lot of people get along like we do, so to share this moment with them is unbelievable". "You're never alone in the hills and the valleys we faced in the a year ago".

"When they came on the recruiting visit, I remember telling them, look, the foundation has been laid by guys - Joe [Harris] and Malcolm [Brogdon] were here and all the guys who went before", Bennett said. "I didn't think there was any way we could have won that game", Kihei Clark had said.

The only truly satisfying answer to "Why?" came Monday night - and with the confetti falling and the nets dangling around their necks, it all seemed so clear. Although the Cavaliers have been slightly worse during the NCAA Tournament, they are still a stout unit.

Texas Tech outmuscled Michigan State 61-51 in its Final Four game Saturday night, but saw Tariq Owens roll his right ankle in the second half.

The 2019 NCAA tournament national championship game takes place on Monday (4/8/19) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. In 1979, Larry Bird (Indiana St.) and Magic Johnson (Michigan St.) met in the final with the Spartans prevailing.

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