Michigan vs Texas Tech! Watch NCAA Basketball with fubo TV
No. 2-seed Michigan meets 3-seed Texas Tech in the West Region semifinal on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:29 p.m. ET
Michigan is looking to return to the Final Four the second consecutive year and third time overall under John Beilein. The Wolverines are 5-2 in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament under Beilein. Texas Tech is back in the Sweet 16 for the second straight season under Chris Beard. The Red Raiders advanced to the Elite Eight last season. This will be a defensive struggle.
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Here is more on what should be a tight Sweet 16 matchup out West:
No. 2 Michigan
Coach: John Beilein (37 years, 12 at Michigan)
Overall record: 30-6
Scoring leader: Ignas Brazdeikis (14.8 ppg)
Rebounding leader: Jon Teske (7.1 rpg)
Assists leader: Zavier Simpson (6.8 apg)
Famous non-athlete alum: James Earl Jones
No. 3 Texas Tech
Coach: Chris Beard (Six years, three at Tech)
Overall record: 28-6
Scoring leader: Jarrett Culver (18.8 ppg)
Rebounding leader: Culver (6.5 rpg)
Assists leader: Culver (3.8 apg)
Famous non-athlete alum: Colby Donaldson
Best individual matchup
Jarrett Culver vs. Charles Matthews. Culver is a potential NBA lottery pick who does it all for the Red Raiders. Culver averaged 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in the first two rounds. If he has that kind of night, then Michigan is in trouble. Matthews, meanwhile, opted to return to Michigan this season. He can be that all-around player ‚ he was in the first round against Montana with 22 points and 10 rebounds. This is a chance for Matthews to shine in a marquee matchup.
MORE SWEET 16 PREVIEWS
UNC-AUB | UK-UH | MSU-LSU | ZAGS-FSU | UVA-UO | PURDUE-UT | DUKE-VT
Most eye-popping stat
Scoring defense. Michigan (58.2) and Texas Tech (59.2) are separated by just one point and rank second and third, respectively, in scoring defense. Virginia (55.0) is the only team that gives up fewer points. When the announcers say “first one to 60 wins” before the game, they aren’t joking. These two teams thrive on winning with their defense.
Michigan wins if …
Michigan’s defense, led by Simpson, forces turnovers. The Red Raiders averaged 14.3 turnovers per game in their losses this season. The Wolverines led the nation in fewest turnovers per game. The fact is, any one of Michigan’s five starters can key a victory is big. If Brazdeikis and Jordan Poole are both on, the Wolverines will be back in the Elite Eight.
Texas Tech wins if …
Culver does his thing and Texas Tech’s defense leads to Michigan standing around too much on offense. If the Wolverines settle for too many 3-pointers and aren’t hitting — a trend that prevented them from pulling away from Florida in the second round — then the Red Raiders will be in good shape. All five Tech starters scored in double figures against Buffalo. They need to continue that balance on offense.
MORE: Ranking Sweet 16 teams’ chances of winning it all
Sweet 16 pick
Michigan. It’s going to be tight, and Culver can carry Texas Tech to a victory here. The Red Raiders have a better record in games decided by 10 points or fewer, and all indications are this will be that kind of game. Simpson is the X-factor. If he stays out of foul trouble, Michigan’s balanced offense will find enough rhythm in the second half to pull out the victory.