March Madness championship game recap

Matthew Hovelsrud, staff writer

With March Madness concluding in Minneapolis, many Edina High School students were eager to attend the game at US Bank Stadium or watch the game at home. Entering the NCAA men’s basketball championship game, the Virginia Cavaliers were seeded first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a record of 34 wins and 3 losses. Texas Tech was seeded third in their respective conference, achieving a record of 31 wins and 6 losses, as reported by NCAA. With a persistent offensive effort, Virginia would win their school’s first NCAA National Championship.

Virginia entered the tournament with not only a better record, but also a more favorable position to win the game due to their participation in the more difficult division during the regular season, according to CBS Sports.

The championship game at US Bank Stadium started off slow with “two of the best defensive teams in the nation [playing] each other,” as stated by the Washington Post.

Texas Tech started off especially slow, making only one of nine shots, with their one point from a free throw. The game’s mellow-paced trend would continue throughout much of the first half. By halftime, the scoreboard read 32-29 with Virginia in the lead.

The first half begin with an early Virginia lead and maintained the lead for 12 minutes. However, Texas Tech was able to come back from a 10-point deficit and tie the game with six minutes left on the clock before half. From then on, the game was neck-to-neck as fans watched an exciting end to the first half.

As the second half started, Virginia was able to utilize key plays to gain another lead early on. The second half was similar to the first half, as Virginia’s biggest lead was 10-points, but once again Texas Tech rallied and came back to tie the game again. The second half was more entertaining, however, because the game was tied with just over three minutes of play left. Because of the time constraint in the last half of the game, players become more anxious with a championship title on the line. As a result, the ending of any high-stakes game is often the most entertaining. For the last two and a half minutes of the game, the point differential would never be more than two as both teams played proficient defense.

The clock winded down to zero and the game was tied 68-68, with the game going into a five-minute overtime. With both teams’ first potential NCAA championship on the line, overtime started with Virginia and Texas Tech each taking one-possession lead for less than a minute at a time. However, with one minute left Virginia began to take the lead and never relented in their effort to win.

The final score was 85-77, with Virginia outlasting Texas Tech and winning the tournament. De’Andre Hunter helped lead Virginia to the win, scoring 27 points and making 7 rebounds, according to ESPN.

Overall, the game was entertaining, because both Texas Tech and Virginia each had moments of dominance in the game that left fans at the edge of their seats. According to ESPN, at the end of the game, Virginia led in field goal (any shot scored), three point percentage, and rebounding. However, Virginia had a higher number of turnovers (losing the ball) than Texas Tech.

Virginia’s better game statistics, are a reflection of how they were able to win. Looking into Virginia’s history, this win meant more than it may have for other teams. Not only had the university never before captured a national championship title, but Virginia made history last year as being the first one seeded team ever to lose to a sixteen seeded team in the first round, resulting in the team having to play with a bad reputation all season long. However, the unfortunate end to their season last year also gave veteran players the determination to change their reputation and win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.