We're all set for the NCAA men's basketball championship. #1 Virginia will face #3 Texas Tech at 6:20 p.m. PT Monday from Minneapolis, MN. It looked like Auburn was headed to the championship game, but with less than a second to go, they fouled Kyle Guy from 3-point land. That sent him to the line with 3 shots, and he sank all of them. Auburn tried a last ditch effort Hail Mary type play, but ultimately fell short, and Virginia will play in the final game for the first time in school history, just one year after being the first #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed. They will now take on #3 Texas Tech Raiders, who beat their opponent Michigan State a little more easily, 61-51. The Red Raiders held a slim 2 point lead at the half, a low scoring half, 23-21, before opening it up in the second half.
For Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, this was his 8th Final Four appearance, but he's exiting with his 7th loss, with that one championship back in 2000 as the only time he successfully made it through the Final Four round. Kind of ironically, I think, is that Texas Tech lost their last game before the tournament to West Virginia in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship. I think in the tournament, Texas Tech has beaten more worthy opponents, including #1 Gonzaga, #2 Michigan State, and #2 Michigan. Virginia has beaten 1 16, 12, 3, 9, and 5, and the last two games they won by one point, and the other they needed OT.
But despite that, I still think this is Virginia's year. They only have 3 losses on the whole year, 2 of them to Duke, and although TT is the hot team right now- beating tougher teams by larger margins, I don't think their D, which is what got them to this point, will be able to be enough to overcome Virginia's overall team play, so as I have been doing even before the tournament started, I'm crowning the Cavaliers the 2019 Champions.