Why halftime of the first Final Four game had to be extended

Virginia Santiago
April 7, 2019

Virginia is just 2-2 against the spread in the tournament, as it cashed against neither Gardner Webb in the round of 64 nor OR in the Sweet 16. So was LSU's Tremont Waters. Mahomes doesn't have any official obligations, though he may give the team a shout-out, but he's looking forward to the festive Final Four atmosphere.

The one-and-dones are done.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been here before. Somewhere there's probably a happy medium.

Last year, Virginia became the first number one seed to ever lose to a number 16 seed in the opening round, Tony Bennett's men are desperate to put that disappointment behind them.

Jarrett Culver, Davide Moretti, Matt Mooney and Brandone Francis can all make the Spartans pay for leaving them open from deep.

It's been a long time coming for a program who has seen all-time greats like Ralph Sampson come through the ranks.

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Injured Auburn star Chuma Okeke is not expected to travel to Minneapolis to be with the team when it plays Virginia in the Final Four on Saturday.

The Spartans are brimming with confidence after winning the Big Ten tournament and four NCAA tournament games in the past month. "Coach showed us some clips about how tough they are throughout the year". Not to take anything away from Tom Izzo, a deserved legend and Hall of Famer, but where are there any indications that he's done a better job than Texas Tech's Chris Beard this season?

Former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, now an ESPN analyst, pointed to one element in particular: the ability of the Red Raiders to get into passing lanes, making it hard to reverse the ball out of trouble from one side of the court to the other.

Having players for multiple seasons breeds continuity.

Baylor's Kim Mulkey was also honored Thursday, taking the AP coach of the year award for the second time. They develop a cohesiveness with each other on the court, knowing what the other is going to do even before they do it.

Virginia Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games and are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS win and are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Saturday games and are 45-20-1 ATS in their last 66 games overall.

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The Wahoos, as they are unofficially known as, made their first trip to the Final Four since 1984 and have so far made the best out of their opportunity.

Auburn has won 12 in a row by turning defense into offense. With an improved skillset and more experience comes more confidence. That group will grow to nine if Michigan State follows Villanova as this year's national champ. North Carolina was led by upperclassmen in its 2017 title run. It'd faced the three winningest programs in college basketball history.

In 2012, Anthony Davis led Kentucky to the national title before going on to star for the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA. Freshmen Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones were keys when Duke set off the confetti canons in 2015.

The pair had a sign reading "Izzo's Help Needed Future Spartan Gender Inside" with an envelope from the ultrasound.

He has cut down the nets on the biggest stage of all only once - and that drives him daily, if not every minute he is awake. How are we going to win a game?

The Tigers certainly have the right mix. "Then I saw my picture and it was about how a basketball player like me playing in the Final Four is kind of a big deal, so everyone was texting me and saying, 'Wow!"

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