Ticket prices lower for Final Four championship game

Apr 10, 2019, 01:15
Ticket prices lower for Final Four championship game

However, another season ended Monday night, as college basketball wrapped up the 2019 Men's NCAA Tournament.

Neither Tech's chip-on-the-shoulder mindset nor the disruptive defense that had frustrated teams in the Big 12 and the NCAA tournament were enough to stop Virginia in an instant classic Monday.

And quiet those critics, too.

The Cavaliers have scored an average of almost 1.14 points per possession while scoring on a little better than 50 percent of their possessions in the tournament.

It was the first Final Four and championship game appearance for Texas Tech (31-7), a school that has just one national championship in any team sport in its history.

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"Surreal", Hunter called it. The Hoos actually slowed down relative to the regular season, averaging just 58 possessions per 40 minutes. "Once we knew we were going to overtime, we knew we were going to have it. We achieved our dreams". It's that make he'll be remembered for, but his night of 27 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 44 minutes make for one of the best title-game performances ever. They managed to right their wrong this season with wins over Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, Oregon, Purdue, and Auburn before clinching the title against Texas Tech.

Ralph Sampson was in the house, and now it's possible that Sampson and the name "Chaminade" won't be at the top of Virginia's resume anymore.

Their journey to the final has been a redemption story after a failed attempt past year, when Virginia - who came into the 2018 tournament as a No. 1 seed - made history by becoming the first top-ranked team to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round. "I think (last year's loss to UMBC) bought us a ticket to a national championship".

"Forget previous year", Jerome said.

What a ride this was. But they didn't need to and won in overtime because guard Clark tapped the ball to Diakite, who came through. "That's all I want". Especially after last year's horrific meltdown.

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Even if Texas Tech isn't playing like an underdog - it handled Michigan State more easily than Virginia dealt with Auburn - and even if the Red Raiders have not needed Virginia's good fortune at this tournament, why would anyone in the Texas Tech inner sanctum suddenly shift to a favored team's mentality?

The call on the play initially awarded Tech the ball trailing 75-73.

Virginia retained possession and Ty Jerome made two free throws that made it a two-possession game.

Sophomore De'Andre Hunter, who had forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining in regulation, hit a 3-pointer with 2:09 left in overtime to give Virginia a lead it would never relinquish. Virginia hit all 12 of its free throws in overtime.

The team then went on to face No. 12 seed OR in the Sweet 16, winning the game 53-49, before triumphing over No. 3 seed Purdue in an Elite Eight game that ended in an 80-75 overtime victory. Texas Tech won its game the next day, prompting coach Chris Beard to expand the cell phone ban. Fast breaks were alien to the Red Raider and Cavalier offenses. These two teams just refuse to give up points on defense, and this will be a grind it out type of game. Jerome nailed a 20-footer from the top of the key to cap a tug-of-war first half during which the teams combined for 10 3-pointers, five ties and four lead changes. The Wahoos are 18-8 ATS in their past 26 non-conference games, while the Red Raiders have covered their past 11 vs. teams with a winning record. Hunter tied the game at 68 sending the game to overtime. This is real life. Hunter showed that he can come up big when it matters most. He finished 8 for 16 after an 0-for-7 start.

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