Virginia star Kyle Guy made three free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to send the Cavaliers to the NCAA tournament title game with a 63-62 win against Auburn on Saturday at the Final Four.
The last No. 1 seed left, Virginia led by 10 points late in the second half before it went more than 5 minutes without scoring. Auburn's Bryce Brown hit four 3-pointers in the game to help the rally. But Guy's clutch performance at the foul line pushed the Cavaliers to one win away from their first national title.
Virginia-Auburn: Score, live updates for Final Four on Saturday
Virginia-Auburn: Time, TV channel for Final Four
The two play at 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS on Saturday, April 6, from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can follow live stats here.
Virginia-Auburn: Watch online, livestream link for the Final Four
The Cavaliers and Tigers can be streamed with March Madness Live here.
Virginia-Auburn: Preview, stats
Both Virginia and Auburn survived overtime thrillers to make it to Minneapolis. For Virginia, it got by Carsen Edwards and Purdue 80-75 in overtime to make the Final Four for the first time since 1984. For Auburn, the Tigers' 77-71 win against SEC rival Kentucky moved it to the Final Four for the first time since...ever.
Auburn shoots 1.5 percentage points worse than Virginia (37.9 to UVA's 39.4), but that tells only part of the story. Thanks to pace playing a huge role, the Tigers have attempted 403 more 3-pointers than Virginia.
Auburn's 3-point shooting has come in a deluge, too:
- 12-for-31 (38.7 percent) against New Mexico State
- 13-for-30 (43.3 percent) against Kansas
- 17-for-37 (45.9 percent) against UNC
- 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) against Kentucky
That's 49 3-pointers in four games, good for 12.3 on average. Virginia, however, has allowed only 6.3 3-pointers per game on 28.7 percent shooting.
The numbers say that battle on the 3-point line could be where to watch.
Virginia is fourth the nation in 3-point percentage defense (28.7 percent); Auburn leads the nation in made 3-pointers (445) and is second in attempts (1,173).
|33-3 (16-2 ACC)||Record (Conference)||30-9 (11-7 SEC)|
|No. 1 South||Seed||No. 5 Midwest|
|71.3||Points per game||80.2|
|55.4||Points against per game||68.9|
|No. 2||KenPom Offense||No. 6|
|No. 5||KenPom Defense||No. 38|
|38.4||FG percentage defense||43.5|
|28.7||3-point percentage defense||34.4|
|34.8||Rebounds per game||34.2|
|9.2||Offensive rebounds per game||11.7|
|5.7||Steals per game||9.4|
|3.8||Blocks per game||4.8|
|Points leader||Bryce Brown
|Rebounds leader||Chuma Okeke (injured)
|Assists leader||Jared Harper
|W, No. 16 Gardner-Webb, 71-56
W, No. 9 Oklahoma, 63-51
W, No. 12 Oregon, 53-49
W, No. 3 Purdue, 80-75 (OT)
|Road to the Final Four||W, No. 12 New Mexico State, 78-77
W, No. 4 Kansas, 89-75
W, No. 1 North Carolina, 97-80
W, No. 2 Kentucky, 77-71 (OT)
Auburn will probably want to get out and run — or at least not let UVA dictate pace. The Cavaliers play sloooow, ranking last in Division I in tempo. The Tigers are "only" No. 153, but they torpedoed Kansas out of the tournament and then hit 17 3-pointers against top seed UNC because it fired up transition 3-pointers in the fastbreak.
"They like to speed it up a little bit offensively and defensively, so just taking care of the ball, trying to limit silly mistakes and turnovers, not allowing offensive rebounds, that’s going to be the key to winning this game," UVA guard Braxton Key said on Friday.
The Tigers will be without super sophomore Chuma Okeke, who sustained a serious knee injury in the Sweet 16 win against UNC.
Virginia had an injury scare, too, as Kyle Guy hurt his ankle late in the first half against Purdue. At that moment, he was only 4-for-25 on 3-pointers in the NCAA tournament.
Well, apparently the ankle is fine. Guy shot 5-for-9 from distance in the second half and overtime.
If Guy can shoot near that percentage on Saturday, Virginia will be in great position to advance to Monday's title game. For Auburn, it's about making UVA play at a quicker pace and hope the 3s continue to fall.