March Madness Championship Game Preview

Our picks for the Championship Game

Mon, 8 Apr, 8:05 PM

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Here is our pick for tonight's Championship Game.

Virginia v Texas Tech

This might be the closest national championship in recent memory.

These are statistically the best two defenses in the country. Virginia allows a paltry 55.5 points on 38.4% shooting; Texas Tech is right there with them with just 58.8 points allowed on 36.8% shooting. Virginia is slightly better at 3-point defense (allowing 28.7% to Texas Tech’s 29.3%); Texas Tech is slightly better at forcing turnovers (22.5% of possessions to Virginia’s 17.3% of possessions). This game will be a gritty battle that should be decided by, at max, a handful of points in the final minute of action.

The differentiator here is offense. Both are relatively low-scoring teams but Virginia is more efficient, outscoring Texas Tech by 0.088 points per possession (a healthy margin). Virginia also shoots slightly better (30th vs. 43rd in the country) and is a notably stronger 3-point team (9th vs 65th in the country).

Statistics aside, Virginia is clearly feeling some of the March magic. They’ve pulled a rabbit out of their hat in the last two games and while you can’t count on them to do it again, I wouldn’t want to bet against them.

This is the comeback story of the year. Virginia is about to make history – losing to a 16 seed one year, winning the national championship the next. Don’t doubt the Cavaliers.

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