Daniel Corrigan | April 9th, 2019
This year’s college basketball tournament ends with the Virginia Cavaliers defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77.
Virginia avenges its all-time upset from the previous tournament as they were the first one seed to lose to a 16 seed. This is Virginia’s first-ever appearance in the championship game, and obviously, their first-ever championship.
Virginia really had to earn this title. It just seemed like destiny. The Purdue game, the Auburn game, and now this championship game. Virginia was down three in the waning moments of the game when future lottery pick, DeAndre Hunter hits a big-time three to eventually send this game to overtime.
Texas Tech went up 73-70 in overtime before an 11-0 run by Virginia sealed the deal on their championship run.
Hunter had some moments where he left a little to be desired for a top pick. He stepped up with 27 points on 8-16 shooting including 4-5 from deep to lead the Cavaliers. Senior Kyle Guy also had a big game with 24 points on 8-15 shooting. As a team, Virginia shot 45% from deep and 87% from the free throw line.
On the other side, Brandon Francis led the Red Raiders with 17 points on 7-12 shooting. Jarrett Culver, another projected lottery pick, had 15 points on a mediocre 5-22 shooting. As a team, Texas Tech shot 33% from three and 86% from the free throw line.
This game came down to shooting. Both teams shot well, it’s just that Virginia did what they did all tournament long, they came up clutch. They blew a lead towards the end of the game but hit the shots that mattered. Culver was locked down and it was just too much to overcome. I said in my preview it will come down to who shoots the best down the stretch. Virginia did just that.
Virginia covered the -1.5 spread. Surprisingly, the over hit at 162. The O/U was set at 117.5. The under was the consensus pick due to both teams playing gritty defense. The start of the game looked promising for under bettors.
A pretty meh tournament was redeemed with great play from the elite eight on. This game is up there with some of the better championship games. Both teams played awesomely, Virginia just had a little more magic in them.
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