Michigan Wolverines Basketball: Sweet Not Elite, But The Future Is Bright
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 31, 2019,
Mar 31, 2019, 5:38
Texas Tech is going to be tested today like it has not been all season.
Strengths will collide in the West Region final on Saturday as the top-seeded Bulldogs tangle with the third-seeded Red Raiders in Anaheim, Calif. Point guard Josh Perkins, Gonzaga's career leader in assists, has played 152 career games, more than any player in the country. Two consecutive turnovers by Davide Moretti gave Gonzaga life. 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Zach Norvell Jr., averaging 15.1 points per game this season as Gonzaga's third leading scorer, knows how those two early losses (76-74 to the Volunteers, and 103-90 to the Tar Heels) prepared the Bulldogs for this game. It will face #3 Texas Tech in the Round of 32, and Tech is favored by 4-points according to NCAA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The bulk of the sexy, pre-Final Four storylines include teams that did not make the trip to the Honda Center, a 3.5-mile drive from Disneyland. It was unyielding defense matched by shot-making. Chess masters. Lottery picks. Geno Crandall, Brandon Clarke and Killian Tillie are among this group. They drilled foul-line jumpers and threw down dunks.
Texas Tech is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 NCAA tournament games.
Because they certainly couldn't lose an ounce of focus with the ball in their hands.
Texas Tech's defense is elite.
The key will be for the Red Raiders to figure out how to slow the Gonzaga offense. If they both return, though, MI will be an immediate contender in the Big Ten once again.
It was the last game for two of the best players in school history with Massinburg and Perkins and the last game for Harris, Caruthers and Montell McRae. So they chose to call next to none.
Texas Tech managed to shut down a solid offensive attack in the previous round, taking down the Northern Kentucky Norse 72-57 on Friday. Clarke and Hachimura would get mauled as they tried to bulldoze their way to the rim.
The top-seeded Zags (33-3) - who defeated Florida Statein Thursday's first regional semifinal - are also first in the nation in scoring (88.6 points per game), field goal shooting rate (53.2 percentage) and scoring margin (23.9). Yet it didn't reach the bonus until there were three seconds remaining.
By the first media timeout of the second half, the margin was 16. A missed call by the referees has Bulldogs fans rather upset. Texas Tech has never been to the national semifinal round. "I've got great respect for their coach and their program, as does everybody in our locker room". It is nothing short of extraordinary.
Tech does that to many teams.
Something schematically changed, Odiase said, although coach Chris Beard only referenced stealing Jalen Brunson's jump stop from last season.
And Beard himself has a remarkable story. "It just meant a lot to them and it means a lot to me". That led to a very low scoring first half, with the Red Raiders holding a 13-10 lead with just over five minutes to go before the break, but Texas Tech started to pull away after that.