Didn’t bet on this

Virginia, Texas Tech face off in NCAA Championship

Tommy Yarrish, Sports Editor

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Virginia. Texas Tech. Like most of the games in this tournament, no one saw this coming.

From Virginia’s controversial double dribble that would’ve changed the game, to Texas Tech holding Michigan State to 31.9 percent shooting, both teams are destined for an exciting finish to this year’s March Madness.

For the Cavaliers, their late game success against red-hot Auburn had lots to do with Kyle Guy, who knocked down a clutch corner three late in the game to cut Auburn’s lead to one point after a 12-0 run with under ten seconds left.

Virginia’s leading scorer that night was Ty Jerome with 21 points on a terrific shooting night. But he also sent the NCAA world into a frenzy after a missed call late in the game. While dribbling the ball up the court with time running out, Jerome miss handled it trying to dribble behind his back, lost the ball, then picked it up and dribble again. In 99 percent of situations, this would be called a double dribble, but the referees stay silent and they played on.

This ultimately led to Kyle Guy’s desperation shot in the corner with a few seconds left, and Auburn made the one mistake you can never make in a late game situation up by two. Foul a shooter behind the three-point arc while in the shooting motion.

After the obvious foul was called, Guy knocked down all three free throws, and Virginia punched their ticket to the national championship.

And then came the Red Raiders, who’ve been playing some of the best if not the best basketball in program history.

They grabbed the lead over Michigan State right from the start of the first half, and going up by 12 with under ten minutes left, it looked like it would be smooth sailing from that point forward.

But Michigan State got a run going late, cutting the lead down to one, but then Jarrett Culver and Davide Moretti knocked down a few threes to ultimately secure the 10 point victory.

Not very often do you see well disciplined teams like Texas Tech and Virginia cut games so close, hence why this final is going to be one to watch.

Expect Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome to be in double digits again for the Cavaliers, and watch for Mamadi Diakite to have a nice game defensively.

For the Red Raiders, Jarrett Culver and Davide Moretti will lead the team scoring wise, plus Tariq Owens with additional defense and hype to get Tech going.

This is one of the hardest games to predict, as at this point, I’ve learned that anything can happen in this tournament. However, I do think one team has just the edge over the other.

Prediction: Texas Tech- 59, Virginia- 56

Featured image courtesy of Elise Bressler @elisehopee