None of the chaos that’s run rampant through the NCAA Tournament so far this year has affected Texas Tech’s path to the Final Four.
The 3-seed Red Raiders had to beat a 14-seed (Stephen F. Austin) and a 6-seed (Florida) to get to the Sweet 16, just as expected. And now, Texas Tech faces the 2-seed Purdue Boilermakers, who were the hottest team in the country at one point this season.
This game has the potential to be one of the most exciting contests over the upcoming weekend. The elbow injury to Purdue center Isaac Haas will most likely keep him out of the game and robs the Boilermakers of some height and interior skill and levels the playing field a bit for the Red Raiders. That’s not to say a Texas Tech win would be a fluke at all, to be clear — coach Chris Beard has his team playing at a very high level.
Sports Illustrated’s Michael Beller predicted the outcome of each Sweet 16 game, and he thinks Texas Tech’s run will end on Friday. Beller predicts a 75-74 Purdue win in a game that hinges on outside shooting.
“Games rarely come down to a singular element, but if the Red Raiders can run the Boilermakers off the three-point line, they’ll likely move on to the Elite Eight,” Beller wrote. “If Purdue gets going from distance—and, remember, Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards, Dakota Mathias, P.J. Thompson and Ryan Cline all shoot at least 40% from behind the arc on at least 100 attempts this season—the Boilermakers will place themselves one win from the Final Four.”
Texas Tech and Purdue will tip off at 9:57 p.m. ET Friday on TBS from TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
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