March 29, 2019
As Texas Tech made its way through the Honda Center corridor Thursday after holding Michigan to 44 points -- the lowest-ever tally for the Wolverines in the NCAA tournament -- Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares" thumped so loudly in the team's locker room that the doors rattled.
The Philly rapper's ode to overcoming the odds -- "I used to pray for times like this/To rhyme like this/So I had to grind like this" -- could be the theme for a program that's reached the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season under third-year coach Chris Beard.
Now, Texas Tech, which plays the best defense in America, will face Gonzaga, the best offense in the country, in a Saturday battle that could send the Red Raiders to the first Final Four in the history of the program.
"Yeah, I'm already kinda shaking, thinking about how good Gonzaga is, but I didn't know they were the best team offensively," Beard told ESPN after the game. "I've got great respect for their coach and their program, as does everybody in our locker room. We'll have to guard at a high level because that's who we are. I've always thought when you get to this tournament you've gotta be who you are. That's obviously who we are, and we gotta figure out a way to score some points, too."
Texas Tech passes Michigan exam ... but bigger test awaits
It's easy to forget about the West Regional.
Zion Williamson is not in Anaheim. North Carolina and Kentucky are elsewhere, too. Tennessee and Purdue staged one of the best games of the year on Thursday. They played in Louisville, where Virginia also held off a game Oregon team. 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. Yet Saturday's meeting between Gonzaga and Texas Tech will be a stat freak's dream. Gonzaga, the nation's most efficient offensive team, and Texas Tech, the country's most efficient defense -- all attributes equally supported by ESPN Analytics, Synergy Sports and KenPom alike -- will compete in the most intriguing battle of the weekend.
"We haven't watched any film on them yet," projected lottery pick Jarrett Culver said. "We was just focused on Michigan, but, we know [Gonzaga is] a great team, one of the best teams in the country, so we're gonna have to play one of our best games to compete with them."
There was notable offense for Tech -- Culver poured in a game-high 22 points and fellow guard Davide Moretti added 15 just hours after viral video surfaced of Moretti's family surprising him with a visit from Italy -- but as usual with this team, it was defense that carried the day.
On Thursday, the Red Raiders made history for Michigan basketball (the bad kind), which missed its first 18 3-point attempts. This all came after Buffalo, which was averaging 84.5 PPG and had scored 91 points in the first round against Arizona State, was held to just 58 points against Texas Tech in the second round. Northern Kentucky, Buffalo and Michigan averaged just 53.0 PPG against Texas Tech, a team that has held seven teams under 50 points this season.
"You know, whoever we play, it's going to be just a phenomenal defensive team," Mark Few said after Gonzaga's win over Florida State without knowing which team he'd face in the Elite Eight. "And probably just as hard or harder to score than it was [Thursday]. So we're going to have to really buckle down and be tough."
The hype surrounding this matchup will not surpass the hype around the other Elite Eight games.
Virginia can complete the exorcism of last season's demons and a first-round loss to UMBC with a Final Four run. The Cavaliers will face a Purdue squad that somehow lost a talented senior class and still managed to enter Saturday's game just one win from the program's first Final Four appearance since 1980.
Some combination of Duke, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Houston, North Carolina, Auburn, LSU and Michigan State will create more nationally relevant matchups Sunday than anything that will unfold Saturday.
Let's just be honest.
Gonzaga versus Texas Tech can't compete. But if you believe the numbers, no other Elite Eight encounter will top the purity of the one that will be staged in Anaheim. We might see Culver and Texas Tech suffocate a Gonzaga squad that won seven West Coast Conference games by 30 points or more. Or, we could see the Bulldogs and their two projected first-round picks, Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura, reel off a crippling run and dominate Texas Tech, as it has other opponents throughout the season.
It's an efficiency-fueled meeting with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Does it get much better than that? Not for the analytics acolytes.
"We show our team clips of winning basketball," Beard said. "We show a lot of Gonzaga clips. Their passion, their togetherness, their courage, how aggressive they are. At this point, I'm a fan, and here in the next hour or so, I've got to flip that and start to get ready to try to prepare against them."
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.