While the Red Raiders were locking down Michigan State on one end, the graduate transfer shooting guard was raining in 3s on the other, lifting Tech one win away from the title Saturday night with a 61-51 victory over the Spartans in the Final Four. They started finding seams in Michigan State's defence on drives to the basket, opening up the perimeter.
Pearl, after having a rocky start to his career at Auburn, won an SEC regular season title last year, captured the SEC Tournament Championship this year and led his program to a place they have never been before. Michigan State is +190 to win the National Championship after opening at +1400. "In fact, to be honest with you, I was ecstatic at halftime", head coach Tom Izzo said. Texas Tech is 30-6 on the season and was the 3-seed in their region.
Izzo is seeking his 2nd National Title with the Spartans in hopes to reach the Hall of Fame.
"They missed some calls and they made some calls, but like I said, that's why they're reffing the Final Four because they're the best of the best". "I have my own goals".
Michigan State's Cassius Winston, who netted nine points in the first half, remained scoreless in the second as the Spartans struggled. Senior forward Tariq Owens followed with seven-two of which came off of a big dunk early in the contest-and a monster block to send Texas Tech into the half with the two-point lead.
Last weekend, Guy had 25 points and did his best to match Carsen Edwards' shotmaking against Purdue to put the Cavaliers in the Final Four. The Red Raiders knocked off Michigan State Saturday night to solidify the matchup. A look back at previous Final Four Most Outstanding Players reveals some legendary names. Ty Jerome is the third double-digit scorer and Braxton Key is grabbing 5.2 rebounds. Virginia would be a one point favorite over Michigan State should the top remaining seeds advance to Monday's final.
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The Cavaliers are 33-3 overall.
After Virginia had a full-on collapse and Auburn took the lead late, the referees first missed a clear double-dribble call against the Cavaliers, which would have given the Tigers the ball with about four seconds left. "They hadn't been calling fouls all game", Doughty said.
For Beard & Co., there's still one more mountain to climb before the confetti falls.
"I've said in previous interviews this week that most of the credit goes to the guys who aren't here anymore", Guy said.
Winston said he needs to talk to his family before making any decision and doesn't have a timeline.