The fantastic run of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is still lasting. One of the biggest surprises in the history of the NCAA tournaments, defeated the great Michigan State Spartans with 61-51 and set the showdown against Virginia in the finals.
The Raiders eliminated Spartans with their own medicine, limiting Izzo’s team to only 51 points, and decreasing their shooting percentages to 29.2% for three and less than 32% from the field overall.
In the beginning, both sides were close, and the only notable lead in the first half was Spartans’ 16-11 at the middle of that sequence. But after that, they choked and scored just 5 points until the end of the halftime.
That part of the game ended with Texas Tech leading 23-21, and that gives a clear picture of the defenses in this game.
As soon as the second sequence started, boys in red shifted into the higher gear and took over the control of the contest. Matt Mooney’s three with 11:18 to go, lifted them to a 12-point lead, 45-33, and it seemed that the game was already decided.
But the Spartans came back, using their trademark defense. They held Texas Tech scoreless for almost five minutes, making a 9-0 run which brought them to 52-51, and gave them a chance to turn this event upside down.
Still, that was all from Michigan State in this one, as they couldn’t execute in the final 2:55, allowing the Red Raiders to respond with a 9-0 surge of their own.
Mooney was unstoppable. He scored 22 points, shooting 4 of 8 behind the arc. His hot hand was making a difference on the floor, as he made all the important shots.
ALL THE WAY FROM ST. PAUL. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/mrT4pISHAY
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) April 7, 2019
The only one left with a double-digit number of points among the Raiders was Jarrett Culvert with 10. Brandon Francis came in off the bench and scored 9.
For the Spartans, Cassius Winston ended the game with 16 buckets, Matt McQuaid had 12, and Aaron Henry 11.
Izzo’s guys made 47 field goal attempts and scored just 15 times. In his eight appearances at Final Four, the famous coach won only one title.
Texas Tech will have a chance to write history against Virginia Cavaliers on Monday night. If they win, it will be their first title, which nobody expected before the start of the tournament.