Virginia vs Purdue Live: Virginia last appeared in the NCAA Final Four in 1984, a year after Ralph Sampson completed a career that many expected would make the Virginia faces Purdue on Saturday in the South Regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line. No. 1 seed Virginia advanced to its …
The Red Raiders held the Wolverines to 1-of-19 beyond the arc and forced 14 turnovers. At this point, every team is elite and every team poses a challenge. Here’s what you need to know about Texas Tech.
Chris Beard has a somewhat unique defensive style that his kids run to perfection. They have been the number one defense in the country by most efficiency metrics for a good portion of the season. They held a top 20 offense in Buffalo to 58 points and just 0.88 points per possession in the second round. They held Michigan, a top 30 offense, to 44 points on Thursday night.
If you’ve never watched Texas Tech, their defense is geared to keep you on one side of the floor. They do not allow middle drives. Their help defense on baseline drives clogs the paint and they are the best charge-taking team in the nation. They have two really good rim protectors in 6’10 Tariq Owens and 6’8 Norense Odiase. For a more detailed outline, watch this video from the great Jordan Sperber.This will be the perfect clash of styles as Gonzaga is the number one offense in the nation. Gonzaga is first in effective FG percentage and first in two-point FG percentage. Texas Tech is second in effective FG percentage defense and third in two-point defense. Gonzaga’s offense has the 11th lowest turnover rate in the country and the lowest block rate in the country. Texas Tech’s defense is top 10 in both categories. Literally everything you could want from an elite offense against an elite defense is what you’ll see in this game. The chess match is going to be absolutely fascinating.
Jarrett Culver is a stud
Culver is a 6’6 wing who will probably end up being taken in the top five in the upcoming NBA draft. He does everything on both ends of the court. He’s an All-American and number one in KenPom’s Player of the Year race. Zach Norvell has been shutting down guys the entire tournament. Darnell Edge, Makai Mason, and Terance Mann have done very little damage against Gonzaga because of Norvell’s efforts. Culver is another beast to deal with. You may see a very similar game plan against Texas Tech as you did against Florida State. In other words, Gonzaga will switch every ball screen and hand-off and try to eliminate drives.
Texas Tech, like Florida State, has been inconsistent from deep this season. But they’ve been hot down the stretch of the season. Their offensive efficiency has been in the top 10 the final six weeks of the year. They had a seven-game stretch before getting knocked out by West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament where they averaged an offensive rating in the 120s. Culver slashes and scores in traffic, Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti are both sharp shooters, Kyler Edwards and Deshawn Corprew both shoot over 40 percent from deep off the bench, and their bigs Odiase and Owens finish whatever is left inside.