Tori Foster, Staff Writer
One of the most anticipated games in college basketball last Monday in the U.S. Bank Stadium. Texas Tech (37-7, Big 12 14-4) and Virginia (35-3, ACC 16-2) faced off Monday, April 8, at 8:20 p.m. on CBS in the NCAA Championship game.
The first half ended with Texas Tech 29-Virginia 32.
At the start of the second half, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter’s, sophomore, two free throws allowed Virginia to be up by seven points. It was Virginia 36-Texas Tech 29. Virginia made sure they stayed in the lead while Texas Tech slowly followed.
Texas Tech’s Tariq Owens, senior, fouled out toward the end of the game with five minutes still on the clock. Owens suffered from a lateral ankle sprain but decide to play in the championship to help to his team. Owens scored three points in the 22 minutes he played.
The last three minutes of the game went down to the wire after Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney, senior, made a 3-point jumper assisted by teammate Jarrett Culver, sophomore. Virginia was up by one, 59-58.
Texas Tech and Virginia were tied after Texas Tech’s Nonrense Odiase, senior, made a free throw. The teams went shot for shot for the last three minutes of the game. There were a lot of quick hands and quick feet on the court as they fought for the title of champions.
The game went into overtime after the score became tied 68-68 again in the last 35 seconds. It was the first time a championship game went into overtime since 2008. In fact, it was the eighth overtime in men’s title game history.
Virginia came out on top by the end of the game. The final score was Virginia 85-Texas Tech 77.
The game leaders were Texas Tech’s Brandone Francis, senior, with 17 points and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter with 27 points. Surprisingly, there were no fast breaks points in the game.
Virginia claimed their first national championship in their program history. Virginia’s Kyle Guy, junior, won the Final Four’s Outstanding Player. Guy scored 24 points in the title game and he hit the game-winning free throws in the semifinals.
Guy, Hunter and Virginia’s Ty Jerome, junior, together contributed 67 points in the title. Virginia’s MVP is Mamadi Diakite, junior. Diakite has three double-digit performances and has come close to picking up a double-double on a few occasions in games.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett won the 2019 Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year, but he has won the ACC Coach of the Year four times in previous years. Bennett is not just a coach. He was also a player; he played in the NBA for three full seasons in the early 1990s. He played with the Charlotte Hornets for almost three full seasons. Under Bennett, Virginia has consistently had a top five ranked defense every season.
Will Texas Tech be back for revenge next season?