Texas Tech meets Villanova for spot in Final Four
| 2 months ago

BOSTON -- Having already reached new program heights by advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time, Texas Tech finds itself one win from the Final Four.

Now all second-seeded Texas Tech has to do is get past top-seeded Villanova on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament East Region final at TD Garden.

"I told the guys, when you continue to advance in the tournament, you're just going to continue to play the best teams in the country, and that's certainly our opinion of Villanova," Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said at Saturday's off-day media conference.

"Just being a basketball guy, they're a team I'm familiar with because I try to watch them whenever they're on TV at night. Just love the way they play. A lot of things we do defensively, we've taken from Villanova, in terms of switching and playing versatile players."

Keenan Evans led four Red Raiders in double figures with 16 points as Texas Tech (27-9) finished off third-seeded Purdue late Friday night to capture the first Sweet 16 victory in the history of a program now in its second season under Beard.

The Red Raiders defeated Stephen F. Austin and Florida to get to Boston. They now face a team that has been No. 1 in the country this season.

The Wildcats, seeking their second national title in the last three years and their third all-time, survived a slugfest against former Eastern 8 and Big East opponent West Virginia on Friday. They won their eighth in a row, led by Jalen Brunson with 27 points and Omari Spellman with 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

Villanova (33-4) expects another physical contest, something Big East teams are quite used to.

"These guys, man, we watched film of Texas Tech and West Virginia playing each other. Man, it was more physical than our game," Villanova coach Jay Wright said of Tech's three Big 12 contests against West Virginia this season. "But a very well-coached team, very disciplined on both ends of the floor. Can really grind you.

"Their motion screening action is unique, reminiscent of Bobby Knight's teams, that you don't really see that as much anymore."

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