Preview for the National Championship

PTonight’s National Championship matchup will feature the Big 12’s Texas Tech Red Raiders and the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers. Neither team have not won a National Championship to this point, so one of them will accomplish that for the first time in their programs history. As a specialty for the National Championship, I will give a full preview of both teams, before making my National Championship pick. 

Who are teams?

Virginia Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have been one of the top teams in the sport all season long behind their great pack-line defense and their improved offense. While they have been the favorites all the tournament games they have played thus far, yet in their past two games, they have been pushed to the brink of losing in their past two games and they’ve pulled two rabbits out of their hat to win their past two games to get to the National Championship. The Cavaliers defense is once again really good, this is due to their great lockdown defender De’Andre Hunter, on-ball pressure from Kihei Clark, and a good pack-line system that doesn’t allow for easy shots. Meanwhile, their offense is much improved, as they have an elite prospect in De’Andre Hunter, who can score from anywhere. They have an elite shotmaker in Kyle Guy, who shoots 42.5% from three and 82.5% from the line. While Ty Jerome can make shots, while he averages over 5 assists per game. That mixture of offense and defense is a big reason that the Cavaliers have been the favorites to win each game in this tournament, including in this National Championship game. 

Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have the best defense in the sport this year and it really isn’t even close. Their no-middle, pack-line type defense, mixed with their on-ball pressure makes them the toughest unit to score against not only this year but maybe in the history of the sport. The Red Raiders defense starts with the great on-ball pressure from Matt Mooney, who can take out the opponents point guard. Jarrett Culver can also take out the other teams best player, as his size matched with his physicality is tough to match. Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase both start but primarily play the five with the other out of the game. Both of those players can provide a real presence in the pain, especially Tariq Owens, who blocks 2.5 shots per game. On offense, the Red Raiders can at times be a work in progress but it has been good enough to get things done in the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raiders offense is led by Jarrett Culver, who is an elite level scorer from anywhere on the court, with the size to score inside and shooting to score from outside. Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti are both good shooters, with Moretti shooting 45% from three and Mooney shooting 38% from three. Their shotmaking has been a big reason why the Red Raiders have made this run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Keys to the game

The big thing to watch will be the shooting of both teams, as both teams will likely protect the paint really well, meaning outside shooting will be key. If one team has a great shooting night and the other doesn’t, that team will win the National Championship. The NBA two best NBA prospects are De’Andre Hunter and Jarrett Culver, both players sill probably go up against each other, both players can score from anywhere, while they each defend at a high level. Both those players are similar and will probably play near a standstill. The backcourts will be key to the game result, as both backcourts will need to create offense for their respected teams to win. One more thing to watch will be the health of Tariq Owens, who injured his ankle on Saturday but appeared to be healthy. If he’s healthy and playing like the healthy and bouncy athlete that he is, that will be really key for the Red Raiders to win this game. 

Final Against the Spread Prediction

Line: Virginia -1

Pick: Virginia

Against the Spread: Virginia

Final Score Prediction: Virginia 55 Texas Tech 51

Why this result? This game is going to be close and competitive down the stretch of this game, I think both teams will have a chance to win the game late. The thing I will trust more than any other is the big time shotmakers Virginia has with Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome, both players have already made some big plays in this tournament. The other reason I like Virginia is the fact that this team has been on the brink of elimination twice and won both games, assuming the game is close, I will trust this team to have something go right for them. As for the one point spread, if the line is one, just take the team who you think will win the game, I like Virginia to win, which is why I will take Virginia against the spread. 

Saturday’ Picks: 1-1

Year to date: 422-364-18

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