BY CHIP CIRILLO
Former Christ Presbyterian Academy star Braxton Key will probably be in a backup role for Virginia when it faces Auburn in the Final Four Saturday night in Minneapolis.
Key is averaging 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds for the top-seeded Cavaliers (33-3). The 6-foot-8 junior guard is second on the team with 36 steals.
He played a season-low 2 minutes in an Elite-Eight win over Purdue last weekend and hasn’t scored in the last two games.
Key transferred to Virginia after playing two seasons at Alabama from 2016-18
He has started six games for the Cavaliers and scored a season-high 20 points in a regular-season win over Florida State. He grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in a Feb. 9 loss to Duke.
Key played for national power Oak Hill Academy during his senior year in high school.
He was the Tennessee Class AA Mr. Basketball twice at CPA from 2014-15.
Virginia (33-3) will be making its third NCAA Final Four appearance (1981, 1984, 2019). The Cavs have set a school record for wins.
Fifth-seeded Auburn (30-9) has defeated Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina – the three winningest programs in college basketball history – in its last three games.
Motivation should be no problem for Key, considering Auburn is his former team’s archrival.
Photo from Virginia Athletics.