It’s one-to-go for a former Westchester County high school basketball standout who will help lead top-seeded Virginia into the finals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament on Monday night, April 8.
Ty Jerome, who honed his craft as a star at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, will have his shot at cutting down the nets as the Cavaliers face the third-seeded Texas Tech in the NCAA Final.
Just one year removed from becoming the first ever top-seed to lose to a 16-seed in the first round of the tournament, Jerome and Virginia will take on Texas Tech at 9 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the NCAA Championship. The game will be aired on CBS. Both teams will be making their first appearances in the national final.
Jerome and Virginia pulled out a dramatic 63-62 win over Auburn in the Final Four and will square off against the Red Raiders, who toppled Tom Izzo and Michigan State 61-51 to earn a spot in the finals.
The 6-foot-5 point guard enjoyed a stellar regular season, starting each game for the Cavaliers, leading the team in assists (130), free throw percentage (.902 percent), and played the third most minutes for Virginia, behind standouts Kyle Guy and Devon Hall. Jerome was also named the ACC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week in January after he scored a career-high 31 points in a one-point win over Boston College.
During the NCAA Tournament, Jerome is averaging 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. Against Auburn, in his team’s biggest game of the season, Jerome finished scoring 21 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists in the comeback victory.
Against Auburn, UVa's first Final Four appearance since 1984, Jerome was instrumental in the winning play of the second half, when he launched a pass to Guy, who was fouled while attempting a three-pointer that ultimately missed. Guy made his foul shots, and a cacophony of Cavaliers fans exploded as they made their way to the final.
“I feel like I get asked this question every single round, every round we advance, and every round I say the same thing almost, and it feels a little bit sweeter, a little bit sweeter," Jerome said. "But to think this time last year we were starting our spring workouts, and to still be playing at this point in the season with, after tonight, one other team in the whole country on the stage that you dreamed about since you were a little kid, it's an unreal feeling. We're going to do everything we can to finish the job."
As a superstar at Iona Prep, Jerome earned four varsity letters, averaging 24.7 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game before signing his National Letter of Intent to play for Virginia.
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