8 Facts of Faith About the NCAA Championship Game

From coaches to players, remarkable stories of Christian faith from both sides of the basketball court.

Although there's no Catholic team in the final game of this season's March Madness, there are remarkable stories of faith on the court, in the locker room, and within the families of the players and coaches set to match up tonight in Minneapolis. From the Elite 8 now to the big title game, here’s 8 fascinating facts of faith about the two teams tipping off tonight: 

1. Texas Tech coach Chris Beard leads his team in prayer before every game.  

2. UVA’s coach Tony Bennett committed to being a Christian while he was attending a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp when he was 14.

3. The chaplain of Texas Tech is Hiawatha Culver, father of player Jarrett Culver, and pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church, in Lubbock, Texas.

4. Sophomore Texas Tech player Jarrett Culver says his faith plays a big role on the court, telling The Athletic: “Before games, I’m praying and reading my Bible. It’s a routine now. I feel like God is with me on the court, and He protects me. It’s big for me.”

5. Virginia Guard Kyle Guy says he relies on his faith in God on the basketball court. Dealing with a recent injury, Guy said he overcame it all “with my faith in the Lord, and my team.”

6. UVA Coach Tony Bennett emphasizes Biblical principals when coaching, creating five pillars: humility, passion, unity, servanthood and thankfulness.

7. Virginia's forward, Jay Huff, joined Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship on campus, finding balance and friendship in weekly bible study sessions.

8. Chris Beard, coach for Texas Tech produces Fireside Chat videos, asking his players occasionally to send out words of gratitude to anyone who has helped them. 

The Virginia Cavaliers take on the Red Raiders of Texas Tech tonight at 9:20 p.m. ET in U.S. Bank Stadium.