BC-BKC--NCAA Championship-The Latest
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the NCAA Tournament championship game between Virginia and Texas Tech (all times local):
A look at advanced statistics for the NCAA Tournament shows that Virginia’s offense has been more efficient than Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders are locking down on opponents at a tougher rate.
The Cavaliers have scored an average of nearly 1.14 points per possession while scoring on a little better than 50% of their possessions in the tournament. That was slightly better than the Red Raiders, who averaged 1.08 points per possession while scoring on about 48% of their tournament possessions.
Virginia continues to play slower-paced games overall by averaging 57.8 possessions per game in the tournament. Texas Tech averages 64.4 possessions.
Yet while Virginia’s offense has been more efficient in the tournament, the Red Raiders’ defense has been tougher statistically. Texas Tech has held all five of its tournament opponents to less than a point per possession.
— Aaron Beard reporting from Minneapolis
Texas Tech and Virginia are each going for their first national titles backed by hard-nosed defenses that were among the best in the nation.
Virginia (34-3) the standard-bearer in lockdown basketball. The Cavaliers are going against the new kids on the defensive block, the Texas Tech Red Raiders (31-6).
The over/under for points is 118. The over/under on bruises may be higher.
The result will give the NCAA Tournament its first first-time champion since coach Billy Donovan won it all with Florida in 2006.
Texas Tech reached the Elite Eight for the first time last season and Virginia lost its previous two trips to the Final Four, in 1981 and 1984.
The last time two teams who had never won a championship played in the title game was Michigan State against Indiana State in 1979. That’s right, Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird.
The game Monday night tips at 8:20 p.m. Central time (9:20 p.m. Eastern).
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