Then there were four. The NCAA Tournament is down to the Final Four, with Michigan State facing Texas Tech and Auburn facing Virginia.
Michigan State versus Texas Tech
The second semifinal matchup on Saturday features the Michigan State Spartans and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Both teams had to get through No. 1 seeds in the Elite Eight. Michigan State defeated Duke 68-67, while Texas Tech beat Gonzaga 75-69.
— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) April 5, 2019
Michigan State-Duke Recap
Senior guard Cassius Winston put the team on his back by taking 23 total shots in the game. Although he only made nine, his 20 points were crucial for the Spartans and gave them momentum.
In addition, he added 10 assists to complete his seventh double-double of the season.
Sophomore big man Xavier Tillman also had a big game on the inside, scoring 19 and grabbing nine boards.
Cassius Winston is “Elite”
Spartans head coach Tom Izzo gave his senior guard major prize by calling him an elite player.
Izzo didn’t refer to Winston as an elite player for any specific numbers or aspects of his game. He called him elite for the fact that he’s been able to carry a team with varying personnel at such a high level.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard also praised Winston, specifically for his defensive capabilities.
Texas Tech-Gonzaga Recap
When looking at the team stats, Gonzaga outperformed Texas Tech in several areas. For example, Gonzaga outrebounded the Red Raiders 37 to 29. Gonzaga also had more assists with 15 to Texas Tech’s 11.
The major difference between the two sides came from beyond the arch and who was scoring.
A Balanced Offense
The Red Raiders had seven different scorers against Gonzaga, compared to Gonzaga’s five. Texas Tech had three players in double digits, all of which were guards. Jarrett Culver had 19, Matt Mooney had 17 and Davide Moretti had 12.
Although Texas Tech’s bigs were outrebounded, Tariq Owens scored nine and had five blocks.
Michigan State and Texas Tech will face off on Saturday at 8:49 p.m., after the Virginia-Auburn game, on CBS.