Virginia Cavaliers Win NCAA Men’s Basketball Title One Year After Making History For Wrong Reason

Posted on: April 9, 2019, 08:22h. 

Last updated on: April 9, 2019, 08:22h.

The Virginia Cavaliers beat Texas Tech 85-77 in an overtime thriller Monday night to claim the university’s first NCAA men’s basketball National Championship. The result covered the consensus one-point spread Virginia was spotting the underdog Red Raiders.

Virginia Cavaliers NCAA basketball odds
Led by De’Andre Hunter, the Virginia Cavaliers managed to fend off a more than formidable foe in Texas Tech. (Image: Tom Pennington/Getty)

It was no easy feat for the No. 1 seed out of the South Region. The Cavaliers went to OT in two of their final three games, and somehow found a way to prevail in both.

Virginia’s title comes just a year after the program made history for the wrong reason. In 2018, the Cavaliers were also a No. 1 seed, but lost in the first round to No. 16 UMBC 54-74. It was the first time in the history of the men’s collegiate basketball tournament that a one seed lost in its March Madness opener.

Surreal,” said De’Andre Hunter, who hit a game-tying three-pointer to force overtime and was the top scorer with 27 points. “It’s a goal we started out with at the beginning of the season. We knew we were going to bounce back from last year. We achieved our dreams.”

Las Vegas got it right, as the ACC team were one-point favorites over Texas Tech. While sportsbooks reported that the money was relatively equally split between the two teams, the Cavaliers winning will likely be a win for the oddsmakers.

William Hill – the largest bookmaker in Nevada and now operational in several states – said 56 percent of the money was on the Red Raiders. Caesars Palace said its book took $5 on Texas Tech for every $4 on Virginia.

Notable Wins, Losses

The ticket slip that made the most headlines was a straight futures bet placed in November at the Westgate SuperBook. The unidentified 30s-something man put $1,500 on Texas Tech to win it all at 200/1.

Should the Red Raiders have won, the gambler would have net $300,000. ESPN says the individual didn’t hedge his bet, and didn’t take a $125,000 offer on secondary marketplace PropSwap to sell the ticket (made by NFL star Dez Bryant and another investor).

William Hill confirmed it took a $275,000 wager on Virginia just hours before last night’s tipoff on the Cavaliers spotting the Red Raiders one point. MGM Resorts said it printed a five-figure wager on Virginia long before March Madness tipped off at 12/1 odds. Even the minimum $10,000 wager won $120,000.

FanDuel admitted a $25,000 liability at +750 that paid $187,500.

Looking Ahead

The Final Four nets were cut down just hours ago, but oddsmakers are already taking bets on the outcome of the 2020 March Madness tournament.

Defending champions Virginia, along with Kentucky, are the frontrunners at 7/1. Duke and Michigan State follow closely at 8/1. Michigan rounds out the top five at 12/1.

Though the Cavaliers will likely lose Hunter to the NBA, the only other player Virginia doesn’t expect to have back next season is reserve big man senior Jack Salt. That means they will be stacked once again.

Texas Tech will lose seniors Matt Mooney – the team’s third-highest scorer and steals leader, and Tariq Owns, their best blocker and important rebounder. Sophomore Jarrett Culver, who led the Red Raiders in points, rebounds, and assists, says he’s undecided about next year.

Texas Tech is at 30/1 to win next year’s title.