Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Virginia Cavaliers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

When: Monday, April 8th at 9pm EST

How (TV): CBS

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Head Coach: Chris Beard {Overall: 31-6, .838 W-L% | Conference: 14-4, T-1st in Big 12}

After knocking out their second opponent from the state of Michigan this tournament, the Texas Tech Red Raiders have reached their first ever title game. Known for their defensive play, Chris Beard’s squad put together another typical masterpiece on that end of the floor.

Texas Tech emerged victorious against Michigan State on Saturday night, beating the Spartans 61-51. Senior point guard, Matt Mooney was the top scorer with 22 points, while Big 12 Player of the Year, Jarrett Culver struggled by scoring just 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting from the field.

The Red Raiders frustrated MSU’s offense, as the Spartans shot just 31.9% from the field. Big Ten Player of the Year, Cassius Winston could not get his teammates quality looks as he was limited to just two assists while coughing up four turnovers.

Virginia Cavaliers

Head Coach: Tony Bennett {Overall: 34-3, .919 W-L% | Conference: 16-2, 1st in ACC}

The Virginia Cavaliers live to fight another round, as they managed to survive another close call in their run to the title game. Although it could be argued that they were the beneficiaries of some key officiating calls, the Hoos had to earn every bit of their finals berth.

When the horn sounded with the scoreboard showing 62-60 in favor of Auburn, the Tiger faithful were ready to celebrate when a whistle halted the excitement. Virginia’s Kyle Guy was fouled in the closing seconds by Samir Doughty on a three-point attempt and proceeded to hit all three free throws to win the game 63-62.

Junior point guard, Ty Jerome was the top scorer for UVA with 21 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Guy added 15 points while potential lottery pick, De’Andre Hunter chipped in 14 points. Jerome had a brush with controversy himself in this game, as he appeared to commit a double dribble in the game’s closing moments.

Texas Tech Roster Notes

Freshman forward Khavon Moore is out for the season with a knee injury that he suffered last year in high school.

Virginia Roster Notes

Freshman center Francisco Caffaro is out with a knee injury suffered prior to this season and will use a redshirt this year.

Head-to-Head: Matt Mooney vs Ty Jerome

Matt Mooney

Point Guard | 6-3, 200lb (190cm, 90kg) | Notre Dame HS | Wauconda, IL | Redshirt Senior

11.3 PPG | 3.2 APG | 3.2 RPG | 1.8 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 2.5 TOV | .426 FG% | .388 3P%

Ty Jerome

Point Guard | 6-5, 195lb (196cm, 88kg) | Iona Prep School | New Rochelle, NY | Junior

13.5 PPG | 5.4 APG | 4.2 RPG | 1.6 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .438 FG% | .401 3P%

The common denominator for most deep runs in the NCAA tournament is strong leadership from the point guard position. Countless floor generals have willed their teams to titles, or at the very least facilitated a powerful offensive attack. The two lead guards in this game have played large roles in leading their teams to new heights given their ability to run an offense.

Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney will cap off a career that few would expect to end with a title game appearance. After stints at the Air Force Academy and South Dakota, the Illinois native has been the stabilizing force for the Red Raiders on both ends of the floor. His decision-making ability has been a huge asset for coach Beard, as the redshirt senior is able to determine whether to defer to Jarrett Culver or Davide Morretti or to be aggressive and take on the bulk of the scoring load.

After years of being labeled a defensive team with an anemic offense, the Cavaliers have shown more firepower on that side, largely due to Ty Jerome’s improvement as a facilitator. Averaging less than two turnovers per game, Jerome has made Tony Bennett’s life much easier by limiting empty possessions for Virginia. The New Yorker has not sacrificed his dedication on defense, however, as he ranks in the top ten in the country in defensive win shares, with his 6-5 frame disrupting passing lanes for opposing point guards.

Texas Tech vs Virginia Predictions and Odds

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the NCAA game between Texas Tech Raiders and Virginia Cavaliers, here:

SportsbookTexas Tech RaidersVirginia CavaliersLink
888Sport NJ+100-130
BetStars NJ+100-120