Texas Tech is gearing up to face Michigan State in the first Final Four in team history on Saturday, March 6th in Minneapolis. This will be the first time both teams have never faced each other, and the Red Raiders are in unfamiliar territory. Meanwhile, this is not the rodeo for the Spartans in fact; this will be their tenth appearance in the Final Four and eighth under current head coach Tom Izzo. Izzo was hired to lead the Spartans back in 1995, and under his leadership, he has accumulated a record of 603 wins and 231 losses. Along with 10 Big Ten Conference Championships and a National Title in 2000.
The Spartans finished with a record of 32 wins and six losses on their way to winning the Big Ten regular-season championship along with the conference tournament title. Both the Red Raiders and Spartans have had to face similar opponents such as Duke, Kansas, and Texas.
Michigan State lost to the then number one ranked Kansas Jayhawks 92-87 on opening night, but would beat Texas 78-68 in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Spartans would go on and swept in conference rivals Nebraska and Michigan, while the Red Raiders took care of the Wolverines in the Sweet Sixteen 63-44. They would defeat the Cornhuskers in the November’s Hall of Fame Classic 70-52. Michigan State would beat Duke to advance to the Final Four, while Duke earlier this season beat the Raiders giving them their first loss of the season back in December.
On Saturday both teams will be looking to play for a national champion on Monday night. Someone that hopes the Red Raiders cut down the nets is Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban.
“I’m going with Texas Tech because defense wins championships,“ Cuban told me.
Cuban knows something about winning championships the Dallas Mavericks were able to capture their first ever NBA Championship in franchise history after defeating their rivals the Miami Heat in six games back in 2011.
Cuban and the rest of the Red Raider Nation is hoping history repeats and they are able to cut down the nets for the first time in school history. We will have to see how things turn out.