All eyes will be on Minneapolis tonight after a pair of National Semifinal games that were nothing short of great. On Saturday, Texas Tech just outplayed Michigan State, 61-51, at the end to advance to tonight’s championship game. Meanwhile, Virginia needed a no-call on a double dribble followed by a foul on a three-point attempt and three made free throws to survive Auburn, 63-62.
While it may not be completely accurate to call Texas Tech’s Road to the Championship Game a Cinderella story, but, at the very least, it sure does qualify as improbable. That’s because the Red Raiders had to beat not one, not two, but three higher seeded teams to earn a spot in tonight’s championship game.
It’s been a helluva run for Texas Tech, which started this year’s tournament as a three seed. In the Sweet 16, they overcame Michigan, the 2 seed in the West, to advance to the Elite Eight. Then, the Red Raiders faced top seed Gonzaga and they beat the Zags, 75-69, to move on to the Final Four. On Saturday, when they were facing another 2 seed, it wasn’t looking good for Texas Tech. Michigan State had cut their lead to just a point, but, then, the Red Raiders pulled away to win, 61-51.
Virginia didn’t really have a scare in the tournament until Saturday against Auburn. Their closest game was a 4-point win over Oregon in the Sweet 16. But, on Saturday, the sequence that led to them winning the game was unbelievable. First, Ty Jerome drove up court and lost the ball on his shoe. He recovered and held the ball before starting another dribble. He should have been called for a double-dribble, but wasn’t. Eventually, the ball was in the hands of Kyle Guy who took a three-point shot as the clock ticked away. Samir Doughty bumped Guy right before he released the ball resulting in three free throws and Guy hit all three to win the game.
It was an unbelievable ending to the game. Now, tonight, it’s the Red Raiders versus the Cavaliers with the national championship on the line.
This is your Virginia vs. Texas Tech Championship Game Thread.