Both Michigan State and Texas Tech have fought hard to make it to the Final Four. Michigan State beat the public favorite Duke by a narrow margin to make it through the coveted level. Texas Tech, on the other hand, defied expectations and beat No. 2 Michigan to make it to the Final Four for the very first time in the school’s history.
Both teams will be looking to outdo each other and proceed to the championship. This tournament has been full of surprises and upsets, but there are certain factors that can give us an insight into what to expect in the upcoming match between Texas Tech’s Red Raiders and Michigan State’s Spartans.
Michigan State Profile
Michigan State ranks among the giants in March Madness. They have won the tournament a couple of times in the past and graced the Final Four severally. However, they have been out in the cold for the past four years.
Michigan State has a lot going for it. For starters, Coach Izzo is highly experienced – he even has a position in the Hall of Fame. He has built the ideal team. The Spartans have great teamwork, and it goes beyond the current players – all former players who made it to the Final Four made a video encouraging the current players and Magic Johnson, a legend in the team and NCAA as a whole, stepped in to coach the team through the Sweet 16.
The team also has several outstanding players that have been instrumental in its successes this season. Cassius Winston is a notable player – he was particularly instrumental in getting the team to the Final Four by scoring 20 points and making 10 assists and 1 turnover. Kenny Goin is also an upcoming player who has shown great prowess this season. Xavier Tillman is also expected to shine in the upcoming game as well as many more games to come.
Texas Tech Profile
This is the first time for Texas Tech to make it to the Final Four – in fact, it is the first time for the team to make headlines as it has not always been big on basketball. However, it has had an impressive record over the past two years best illustrated in its seven NCAA tournament wins.
Texas Tech will be relying on its excellent defense capabilities as it is ranked first in the nation. Its good defense has contributed to its success thus far. It proved to be quite the challenge for Gonzaga, ranked first nationally in shooting, when it held it off to 44% in shots from the field and 27% in shots beyond the 3-point line. Michigan also had a hard time getting past Texas Tech’s defense and managed only 44 points, a 5-year low only surpassed back in 2014.
Texas Tech also has several outstanding players. Two of its players are grad transfers from other teams, and they both bring in a lot of experience. Its top player is Matt Mooney, a transfer grad from Air Force and South Dakota. He is the leading player and has started all 36 games. Another outstanding player is Tariq Owens, also a transfer grad from St. Johns and Tennessee. Owens is ranked as one of the best blockers nationally with an average of 2.4 blocks per game and thus comes as a boost to the team’s already outstanding defense capabilities.
However, Texas Tech’s greatest asset is its new coach, Chris Beard. Coach Beard is a former disciple of the team’s previous coach and Hall-of-Famer Bob Knight. He has been with the team for three years, and it took him just one year to get the team to the limelight. He has also had outstanding success with other teams and holds the title for the Sun Belt Coach of the Year with UALR. He is also the only coach to win the Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year award back-to-back.
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