PJ's Predictions: National Championship
This year’s March Madness tournament has been wild so far. Many did not expect it to end like it is, with only one number one seed, and the one no one expected it to be. The tournament so far has been filled with excitement with upsets and close games, but there have also been blowouts. All sixty four teams in the tournament fighted all year just to play in one game, the National Championship. It all comes down to two teams in one game.
The first team competing in the National Championship is the number one seeded Virginia. It is their first National Championship appearance. Many did not believe they would make it to this point due to last years meltdown to UMBC, a sixteen seed. However, Virginia has had a comeback year only losing three games, two to Duke and one to Florida State. They control the game and play at their own pace with outstanding defense.
Virginia faced Auburn in the Final Four, winning a clutch victory thanks to some of Kyle Guy’s free throws. However, Auburn was not the same team they have been all year, without arguably their best player Okeke. Virginia was down in this game and showed that if they need to make a comeback they can get it done. However, they will have to face the tenacious Texas Tech Red Raiders in the National Championship.
The second team, that will face Virginia, are the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. They were a very underrated team heading into the tournament, knocking off teams likes Michigan and Gonzaga. However, they were underrated for a reason, they have amazing defense but struggle to score at a high rate. An example of this is mid season when they were beaten by eleven by Duke, just getting outscored. Led by their aggressive defense, they have made it past some top teams.
Texas Tech faced Michigan State in the Final Four, defeating the Big Ten Champs by double digits in a very low scoring game. They did just what they needed to do to win the game, locking up Cassius Winston not allowing him to make plays. They matched up good against Michigan State, but could not score much on their defense. However, they were able to get the job done and reach the National Championship where they will face the Virginia Cavaliers.
In the National Championship, two very different teams will face each other. Virginia, a team that controls the pace, plays good defense, and shoots the lights out. Then Texas Tech, a team that plays aggressive defensive and from time to time can knock down shots. This will be a very interesting matchup, seeing a lockdown defensive team face a offensive machine. Virginia will fight hard and play with heart, but they will not be able to score on this tenacious defense. Texas Tech will lockdown the perimeter and will score just enough to win the National Championship.
The Red Raiders will win their first National Championship and be the second team in the state of Texas to win one. However, they will not know who to choose for MVP. In many people’s eyes, they would consider their defense the MVP. Texas Tech is not a team built around many stars but they play as a team and play tenacious defense, so the MVP will have to be the player that has the best game that night.