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Red Raiders Earn Trip to Championship Game
April 06, 2019

Texas Tech has earned a trip to Monday night's men's basketball national championship game to face Virginia in a game that will feature two first-time participants.

The Red Raiders beat Michigan State 61-51 in Saturday night's second national semifinal.

Matt Mooney tied his career-high with 22 points to lead Texas Tech, which is also playing in its first Final Four.

Leading scorer Jarrett Culver was quiet for much of the night, but he scored six straight points to keep the Red Raiders in control after the Spartans had cut a 13-point deficit to 52-51 with 2:54 left.

Texas Tech shot 56 percent after halftime, while its trademark defensive edge locked down on Michigan State. The Spartans shot just 32 percent, including 8 of 24 in the second half. The Red Raiders entered the national semifinals by allowing just 84 points per 100 possessions, a defensive efficiency score on KenPom that ranks as the best the advanced-stats site has tracked dating to 2002. The title game will be a matchup of the past two men's national coaches of the year, with Texas Tech's Chris Beard winning this year's award and Virginia's Tony Bennett claiming it last season.

With Baylor facing Notre Dame in the women's national championship game, this marks the first time that both title games feature teams from the same conferences playing against each other.

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