2019 Final Four Preview – About the Teams

We are down to four!! College basketball’s annual Final Four is now set. 2 first timers crash the party and 75% of the four have never cut down the nets at the end of the tournament.

MICHIGAN STATE vs TEXAS TECH

The 2 seed in the East faces the #3 seed in the West.

How we Got Here

Michigan State – Survived a tough battle against Bradley, before handling Big Ten foe Minnesota in round two. Knocked off #3 LSU in Sweet 16 and took down the legendary Duke freshman in the Elite 8

Texas Tech – Beat #14 Northern Kentucky and #6 Buffalo without too much trouble. They beat #2 Michigan by 19, holding the Wolverines to 44 points. They advanced to their first Final Four by beating #1 Gonzaga by 6.

Final Four History

Michigan State: 10th Final Four appearance, first since 2015. Spartans have two National titles – 2000 and 1979. They were National runner ups in 2009.

Spartans are playing in their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament. Coming into 2019, they were just 2-3 the last three years, which includes a loss as a 2 seed to 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State and 11th seeded Syracuse last year. 

Spartans are playing in their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament. Coming into 2019, they were just 2-3 the last three years, which includes a loss as a 2 seed to 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State and 11th seeded Syracuse last year. 

Texas Tech: First Final Four appearance in school history

2019 was Texas Tech’s 16th NCAA Tournament appearance, the 9th most without a Final Four appearance and the second most among active teams in this year’s tournament.

Texas Tech had won 8 tournament games all-time prior to Chris Beard’s arrival. Over the last 2 years, they have won 7.

History of the Matchup

This will be the first ever meeting between schools in basketball.

They met once in football, in the 2010 Alamo Bowl. Texas Tech won 41-31 and Kirk Cousins was on the losing side for Michigan State.

About the Coaches

Texas Tech : Chris Beard has a phenomenal 8-2 tournament record. He led Arkansas Little Rock to a first round win over Purdue in 2016 before taking the Texas Tech job. All he has done in Lubbock is advanced to back-to-back Elite 8 and now the school’s first Final Four. 2018 was the school’s first ever Elite 8 appearance.

Read more on all four of the Final Four coaches


VIRGINIA vs AUBURN

The 1 seed in the South faces the 5 seed in the Midwest

How we Got Here

Virginia – For the first time since 2016, Virginia defeated a 16 seed (Gardner Webb), #9 Oklahoma, #12 Oregon in Sweet 16, and #3 Purdue in a classic in the Elite 8

Auburn – Tigers were the only #5 seed to win their first round game, barely surviving #12 New Mexico State. They would go on to beat three straight blue bloods – #4 Kansas, #1 UNC, #2 Kentucky

Final Four History

Virginia: Third Final Four appearance in school history – first since 1984. Virginia has never advanced to Championship Game.

Auburn: First Final Four appearance in school history

2019 was just Auburn’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance and their second ever Elite 8 (first was 1986). Bruce Pearl lead Auburn to the NCAA tournament in 2018, snapping a 14 year drought. They made the Sweet 16 in their previous 2003 appearance. 17-9 all time

History of the Matchup

These teams have faced each other 4 times, with Auburn winning the two most recent matchups in 2008 and 2009 and Virginia previously winning in 2001 and 2004. All four matchups came in December, making this their first ever NCAA Tournament game against each other.

Like Texas Tech and Michigan State, these teams have also met in a football bowl game, in the 2011 Peach Bowl. Auburn beat UVA 43-24


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About Mike Schneid 451 Articles
Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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