This year’s edition of NCAA March Madness was nothing short of excellent. Upsets, buzzer beaters, loads of NBA talent, tears of both joy and defeat, this year’s tournament was one for the ages. Now it all comes down to two teams on Monday night. One seed Virginia and three seed Texas Tech.
In the first game of Saturday’s Final Four matchups, The Virginia Cavaliers got away with a controversial missed double dribble call late down the stretch that would set the stage for sharpshooter Kyle Guy to eventually drain three free throws in the final seconds to send the Auburn Tigers home.
In the second game, two of the most physical teams in the country, Texas Tech and Michigan State, went at each other’s throats right from the get-go. In a back and forth battle, the Red Raiders were able to come out on top thanks to an incredible two-way effort by transfer guard Matt Mooney.
Just a year ago, the storyline was entirely different for the Cavaliers. Last tournament, one seed Virginia was sent home in the first round after being upset by 16 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). This upset marked the first time in NCAA Tournament history that a one seed had been eliminated in the first round by a 16 seed.
No matter if the Cavaliers or Red Raiders come out on top, it will be both of these schools first-ever NCAA title. This also marks the first time for the two schools to make the championship game. Texas Tech will have their hands full trying to contain UVA’s dynamic backcourt of Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and Kihei Clark, While the Cavaliers will have to try and slow down future NBA lottery pick and Big 12 Conference player of the year Jarret Culver. Michigan State was able to keep Culver contained until late in the second half when he was able to get into a groove and put the nail in the coffin of the Spartans.
Expect this game to be a back and forth physical battle between two of the top teams in the country this season. I like Texas Tech to come out on top in a close one. I see Jarrett Culver not allowing the Cavaliers backcourt to stifle him early like Michigan State was able to. If Culver gets into a groove, and Tech’s tenacious team defense can continue to apply the pressure like they have all year, Lubbock, Texas will be bringing home its first ever NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Books down, guns up.