The Texas Tech Red Raiders clash with the Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament national championship game, with both teams looking for their first title.
Monday, April 8 at 9:20 PM ET
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Texas Tech was able to beat Michigan State 61-51 in the Final Four despite a bad game from their Jarrett Culver because of their incredible defense.
Virginia's game against Auburn was much closer, as it took three clutch free-throws from Kyle Guy after a questionable foul to overcome Auburn 63-62.
These are the two best defensive teams in the nation, so don't expect a fast-paced, high-scoring affair. The outcome of this game will come down to defense but I like Texas Tech as long as they can do the following.
Matt Mooney stepped up big against Michigan State, scoring 22 points for the best game of his career. The transfer from South Dakota exploded in the second half when Jarrett Culver was sidelined and Tariq Owens had to go to the locker room.
Culver struggled against Michigan State and scoring against the tough Virginia defense won't be easy so Texas Tech needs another big game from Mooney.
Expecting another 22 points from Mooney might be too much but any extra help they can get from him can make a difference. Mooney was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc against Michigan State and a similar performance from distance would give Texas Tech a great chance to win because they also have a solid defense.
Texas Tech will win this game if Jarrett Culver steps up. Culver had just one point in the first half against Michigan State and finished with 10 points. Scoring against Virginia isn't easy but he has to find a way to carry his team in this game, another 10-point game won't be enough. Culver also has to be a difference-maker on defense, if he contains Virginia's star guard Ty Jerome then his team's path to victory will be clear.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are:
14-3 ATS in their last 17 games overall
11-1 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
11-0 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning straight up record
5-0 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games
5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games
The Virginia Cavaliers are:
2-7 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games
NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech +105 at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff