April 6 (UPI) — Virginia edged the Auburn Tigers in the last second and Texas Tech held off Michigan State as the Cavaliers and Red Raiders advanced to the national championship game Saturday in Minneapolis, Minn.
Virginia guard Kyle Guy sank three free throws after a late foul call with 0.6 seconds left to seal a 63-62 victory over Auburn. The Cavaliers will play in their first national title game in program history one year after suffering a huge first-round upset in last year’s NCAA tournament.
Virginia became the first top seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament.
The Cavaliers (34-3) also earned the top seed in their region this year, and were the only No. 1 seed in the Final Four.
Ty Jerome led the Cavaliers with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Guy had 15 points, four assists and three boards in 39 minutes. De’Andre Hunter added 14 points and five rebounds.
Fifth-seeded Auburn (30-10) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes and grabbed a four-point lead. Guy drained an off-balance three to trim the lead to 61-60 with 7.6 seconds remaining. The Cavs immediately sent Auburn’s Jared Harper to the free throw line.
Harper made one free throw to boost the Tigers’ lead to 62-60. With 1.5 seconds left, Guy received the ball in the corner and fired a 3-pointer. Samir Doughty, with his arms extended straight up, appeared to bump into Guy’s hip during the shot.
The long ball clanged off the rim and the PA announcer in U.S. Bank Stadium announced the Tigers as the winners. Instead, officials awarded Guy with free throws because he was fouled. He made the first two freebies to tie the game and Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl called a timeout to ice him. Guy proceeded to sink the game-winning shot.
Doughty led Auburn with 13 points in 28 minutes. Bryce Brown had 12 points, three assists and three boards. Anfernee McLemore had nine points and 12 rebounds, while Harper added 11 points.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech also clinched its first trip to the national title game with a 61-51 win over the Spartans.