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Texas Tech
vs
Virginia
Apr 8
 
9:20 PM ET
Kerry Miller
Kerry Miller 
Has been a men’s college basketball lead national analyst at Bleacher Report since the 2012-13 season, and he has been obsessively following the sport for over two decades. When he’s not too busy analyzing spreads and point totals to find an edge, he’s most likely playing disc golf, smoking a cigar or spending some quality time with his wife and infant daughter.
58.9% All Time
58.9% College BB

Neither Texas Tech nor Virginia has ever played for a national championship in men's college basketball, but one will be securing its first title on Monday night.

For as much as folks have talked about this being an combination that no one was expecting, Virginia was arguably the best team in the country during the regular season, and Texas Tech hasn't been ranked lower than 16th on KenPom since five games into the season. These are fantastic, deserving teams who are each going to try to win it all on the defensive end of the court.

But while the total has gotten most of the attention from the betting public, the spread is where we'll look to make one final chunk of change before the offseason.

Against the Spread
The Pick: UVA (-1.5) via Vegas Insider
You know that meme of Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man? That's what we're getting in this battle between pack-line defenses. Texas Tech's D is more aggressive than Virginia's, forcing considerably more turnovers and slightly more frequent blocks. However, it commits more fouls in the process, which re-balances the scales against a good free-throw shooting Virginia team that rarely commits turnovers.

But while the defenses are relatively equal, there's no question that Virginia has the superior offense.

Don't get me wrong: Texas Tech is plenty capable on offense. Jarrett Culver has a bright future in the NBA, and both Davide Moretti and Matt Mooney have shown the ability to get hot from three-point range. But in KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency, Virginia ranks 25 spots ahead of Texas Tech and has much better marks in terms of effective field-goal percentage, turnover percentage and offensive rebound percentage.

The Cavaliers have three excellent three-point shooters in Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De'Andre Hunter, as well as a capable long-range threat in the form of Kihei Clark. And if there's one obvious way to beat this Tariq Owens-anchored defense, it's by shooting over the top of it. No one has been able to do it yet in the tournament, but that's partially because the Red Raiders have yet to face an opponent that relies on threes for at least 35 percent of its scoring, like Virginia does.

This should be a great, low-scoring affair, but Virginia is at least two points better than Texas Tech. Unless Guy reverts to shooting as poorly as he did in the first three rounds, the Cavaliers ought to be able to win this one without any buzzer-beating drama for a change.

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