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
Jamie Lee Curtis talks 'Halloween Kills' and Laurie Strode's Legacy
October 15, 2021
-xyHjfTA2SY
Nicholas Braun, Jeremy Strong, Brian Cox and the cast of ‘Succession’ on the Red Carpet
October 15, 2021
O19yMBvhR48
Dave Chappelle Ignites Controversy, 'Halloween Kills' Hits Theaters | The Take
October 15, 2021
xOIUz0WuFS8
Kim Kardashian and Kanye Likely Won't Reconcile, She Now Owns Family Home | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
attkYidh_Z8
Joe Rogan Stands Up to CNN | The TMZ Podcast
October 15, 2021
WgmPhCjlGoc
'The Masked Singer' Jester Costume Bulge Too Hot for TV | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
0lnS7Gmu7O8
Vicki Gunvalson accuses ex Steve Lodge of cheating, lying and using her | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
3RB_p9_FZ-Y
Katey Sagal hit by car while crossing the street, taken to hospital | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
5kT2IIVMy0o
Erika Jayne’s threat to Sutton Stracke has been revealed & more from this week on Bravo | Page Six
October 15, 2021
X0y9D9aOBDQ
Necessary Realness: Will Morgan Survive the Dalgona Game? | E! News
October 16, 2021
QZJoaCiO3sA
Selena Gomez Says This Social Media Move "Saved My Life" | E! News
October 15, 2021
6DoqMGH3bRQ
Salma Hayek Explains Why Angelina Jolie SMASHED Her Face Into Cake | E! News
October 15, 2021
gTZPVmxRMfU
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
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
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.