LOS ANGELES — There will two debutants at the Final Four ball this year. Auburn joins Texas Tech as first-time participants in college basketball’s biggest stage after a 77-71 victory over Kentucky on Sunday in the Midwest Region final in Kansas City.
The Tigers will face the Virginia Cavaliers in Saturday’s national semifinals.
Third-seeded Texas Tech made history Saturday, using its trademark sticky defense to shut down top-seeded Gonzaga’s high-scoring offense and produce a 75-69 win in the West Regional final at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
“We’re trying to build a program at Tech like a Gonzaga,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said afterward.
“The Final Four is awesome and all that, but the most cool thing is I get to coach these guys again.”
VIRGINIA SURVIVES OVERTIME THRILLER
Virginia needed a wild buzzer-beating play to force overtime and had to survive a scoring onslaught by Purdue guard Carsen Edwards to advance to its first Final Four since 1984.
The top-seeded Cavaliers beat the third-seeded Boilermakers 80-75 in the NCAA Tournament’s South Region final in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday night.
Edwards scored 42 points but missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with nine seconds left in overtime. — Reuters