The Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Michigan State Spartans in the second game of today’s Final Four in Minneapolis. You knew that already, but here’s 33 items that you might not know about the two team’s match up. Let’s start with the basics.
Texas Tech – Michigan State Game Basics
1. The MSU-Texas Tech match game starts at 8:49 PM EDT (view schedule)
2. The first game pits Auburn vs. Virginia that begins at 6:09 PM EDT
3. Both games are being played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
4. Both games will be nationally broadcast on CBS
5. Or you can stream it officially on March Madness Live
But Did You Know This?
6. This year is the 80th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament
7. The first NCAA Tournament started with just eight teams in 1939
8. There’s been 64 games completed up until this point
9. Michigan State is a #2 seed
10. Texas Tech is a #3 seed
How about them Texas Tech Red Raiders
11. The Red Raiders’ defense ranks third in scoring defense
12. and #2 in opponent field-goal percentage defense holding teams to 36.8% shooting on average
13. The team won their first ever Big 12 championship
14. Their appearance in the Sweet 16 was the program’s second in school history
15. They took down the Spartan’s in-state nemesis, #2 ranked Michigan Wolverines, in the Sweet 16
16. They held Michigan to just 16 points at halftime.
17. Texas Tech's Head Coach Chris Beard was named AP men's basketball Coach of the Year
18. Tech's Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver was named Big 12 Player of the Year - a first for a Texas Tech player
19. Culver was named Second Team All-American, joining Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga), Markus Howard (Marquette), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), and Carsen Edwards (Purdue)
20. Culver was an unknown prospect coming out of high school, but now is an NBA prospect
21. NBA Draft boards have him being drafted in positions #6 - #11
22. Texas Tech defeated #1 Gonzaga on their way to the Final Four
23. This is Texas Tech's first Final Four in school history
Some Facts about Michigan State Basketball
24. Coach Tom Izzo is vying for his second NCAA Championship
25. Izzo has coached MSU into the Final Four eight times!
26, MSU defeated #1 ranked Duke (and Zion Williamson) to reach the Final Four
27. After that Elite Eight game Duke's Head Coach K called Michigan State guard Cassisus Winston “as good a performance as any player has had against (Duke).”
29. Despite his performances, Winston is projected as the 87th best player in this year's NBA Draft
31. 2019 was Michigan State's 20th appearance in the Sweet 16
32. If Izzo can make it past Texas Tech and win the championship, he'll join an exclusive list of 9 NCAA coaches with multiple NCAA championships.
33. The winner of the game moves on to play in the National Championship Game this Monday, April 8th, 2019
So who will win? Texas Tech or Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans roll into the 2019 Final Four game today taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Minneapolis. The Spartans (32-6) have strong team defense and a super-efficient offense led by the aforementioned Winston controlling the pace. Offensively, they ranked 5th overall and eighth overall in defensive efficiency according to kenpom.com
On the other side is Texas Tech, who has a similar overall record at 30-6. They may not be as balanced on both sides of the court as Michigan State, but they lean heavily on their top-ranked defense (again from kenpom.com) and their strong cohesion on the defensive side has been frustrating opponents all season long. Offensively, they're not nearly as strong but like their defensive approach, they come together offensively to compliment their exceptional defense.
Not only is Michigan State favored by 2.5 points in the latest odds, we also project that the Spartans will move onto the championship game due to the experience of coach Tom Izzo, but the balanced attack on offense and defense. Tipoff for the match is set for 8:49 p.m. ET at U.S. Bank Stadium.