Texas Tech does have a slight advantage underneath on the boards and if they can defend the three-point shot and rebound they have a real shot to win this game.
Tip-off is set for Sunday at 2:20 p.m. on CBS, with the victor advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio to play the victor of No. 1 seed Kansas vs. Sunday's winners will join 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago and their telegenic nun, along with No. 3 MI in the national semifinals on Saturday in San Antonio. So, who do you think will meet them in San Antonio?
Just like his Sweet 16 matchup, Nova point guard Jalen Brunson has a tough matchup ahead on both ends of the floor.
BC-BKC-NCAA-Texas Tech-Purdue, 1st Ld-Writethru, 621 Beard, Texas Tech oust Purdue 78-65 in NCAA East RegionAP Photo BX198, BX203, BX204, BX202, BX200, BX199, BX197, BX196Eds: Texas Tech 78, Purdue 65.
The win was Villanova's eighth in a row and 15th time they've scored 90 or more points in a game this season. Today, the Wildcats have a chance to set the NCAA record for made 3-point shots in a season.
College basketball's best programs are obviously defined by regular season titles and national titles, but teams hang Final Fours too, and with this run, Villanova has proven itself to be as good as any school in college basketball over the past half decade.
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"We know defense wins championships, and that's our identity", Evans said. Texas Tech ranks 182nd in blocks allowed per game (3.7). "But we don't rely on our shooting". Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. Our guys take pride in that. "They're going to be able to wear -try to wear us down, much like West Virginia did".
The Red Raiders weren't in awe of their accomplishment - missing the tournament a year ago, which is the norm in Lubbock, and suddenly surging to the Elite Eight here in 2018.
It became apparent midway through the second half that the Red Raiders' experience in the Big 12 against the likes of Kansas, West Virginia, and Kansas State, was wearing out Purdue. Their leader has been Keenan Evans, who scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half against Purdue.
It will be Villanova's third trip to the Final Four in Wright's tenure. That's great, the coach and players said, except that they have been around for only a few years.
"You just see how together we are". After Villanova grabbed the defensive rebound on the ensuing possession, Brunson let Bridges know he wasn't happy about the shot. "Every time you get to do it is special, every time you're on that court with those group of guys, it's special".
Villanova is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite of 6.5 points or more. Villanova went on a 32-14 run to close out the first half, taking the lead 36-23. The Red Raiders have held each of their first three tournament opponents under 66 points, but they will face a different animal Sunday afternoon. Villanova was effective at getting and making free throws.