Get ready for a defensive-minded title game

Big Tournament
Final Four Texas Tech Michigan St Basketball_1554607902078

Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard celebrates at the end of a semifinal round game against Michigan State in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The college basketball season will end Monday night with two defensive-minded teams battling to become a first-time champion.

Texas Tech entered the national semifinals by allowing just 84 points per 100 possessions, a defensive efficiency score on KenPom that ranks as the best the advanced-stats site has tracked dating to 2002.

Virginia arrived ranked fifth nationally by surrendering 88.7 points per 100 possessions, a metric that factors out Virginia’s slower offensive pace and offers a better measure of performance than scoring averages depressed by low-possession games.

Both defenses were strong in the second half of their semifinals. Texas Tech allowed Michigan State to make 8 of 24 shots, while Auburn made just 9 of 26 shots against Virginia.

It will also be a matchup of the past two Associated Press men’s national coaches of the year, with Texas Tech’s Chris Beard winning this year’s award and Virginia’s Tony Bennett claiming it last season.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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