NCAA Tournament: Virginia vs. Texas Tech NCAA Tournament national championship fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Monday, April 8
Game Time: 9:20 pm ET
Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
All You Really Need To Know About Virginia (33-3)
(ACC), NCAA NET Rank: 1. South 1-seed
Yeah, Virginia double-dribbled its way to get to the national championship game, but that’s sort of what it does. To go mega-cliche, the Cavaliers find a way.
Their defense came up with a brilliant defensive performance against Auburn from three until it was almost way too late. The ball movement, Kyle Guy from the line – to make up for an awful game by the Cavs on the free throw line – and a few generous late breaks got them here.
They led the nation in scoring defense and can score a bit better than Texas Tech in a variety of ways. But can they get tough enough on the boards? They lost the rebounding battle to Auburn 33-31, didn’t force a whole lot of turnovers, and again, struggled on the free throw line until Mr. Guy’s heroics.
They don’t commit a lot of fouls, are terrific at coming with blocks, they don’t give the ball away, and they control the pace better than anyone other than, maybe …
All You Really Need To Know About Texas Tech (31-9)
(SEC), NCAA NET Rank: 10. West 3-seed
The Red Raiders are ripping up everyone with a nasty attitude, toughness, and tourniquet defense that stopped Gonzaga, stalled Michigan, and held Michigan State to 51. But for all the D, it was the three-point shooting and 43% overall from the field that pushed past for the win.
And the defense had something to do with that, too.
The Red Raiders didn’t get destroyed by the tough Spartans on the boards – only getting outrebounded 36-30 – and did a nice job on the inside at holding tough. They’re excellent at coming up with blocks and they’re second in the nation in field goal defense.
They don’t make a slew of big mistakes or turn the ball over, they harass and rotate better than anyone, and they destroy teams trying to shoot from three, allowing just 29% from beyond the arc.
What’s Going To Happen
First one to 20 wins?
Both teams love to play at a controlled pace, and both clamp down defensively better than anyone.
Virginia is No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense. Texas Tech is third. Neither teams allows a thing from three, and neither one makes a slew of mistakes.
The difference? Virginia doesn’t commit as many fouls and is better on the free throw line Texas Tech forces takeaways and harasses the ball way, way better, but …
Fouls will be the difference.
Texas Tech will put Virginia on the line more, and while that didn’t matter a lick against Michigan State, it will in the slow-and-go game with the Cavaliers.
The Virginia backcourt will play just a wee bit better.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Virginia 60, Texas Tech 58
Line: Virginia -1.5, o/u: 119
ATS Confidence: 1.5
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle