exas Tech will be in the national championship game with a chance to make school history, thanks to a hard-fought 61-51 win against Michigan State in the Final Four on Saturday night.
Matt Mooney led the way with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, hitting a couple of three-pointers early and carrying the way while Jarrett Culver was struggled in the first half against Michigan State’s defense. The Red Raiders’ top-ranked defense held the Spartans to just 31.9 percent shooting from the field, including 17 missed 3-pointers, and the Texas Tech bench outscored Michigan State’s bench by 10 in a game that was won with physicality.
“I told the guys all week, the plan was not to out-tough Michigan State, it was to match their toughness,” Chris Beard told CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson after the game.
Culver did end up being the go-to guy in crunch time despite his slow start, sparking a late run that sealed the win after Michigan State’s efforts to retake the lead late in the second half. While Mooney set up the advantage, Culver was still the team’s closer, and combined with a strong bench effort from Brandone Francis and Kyler Edwards helped showcase one of the best NCAA Tournament teams we’ve seen this year.
Texas Tech advances to Monday night’s final against Virginia in Minneapolis.