Final Four 2019: Texas Tech's Matt Mooney graduates to brink of championship

According to geotagged Twitter data more states are rooting for Michigan State than any other team. Twenty-seven of them to be exact

According to geotagged Twitter data more states are rooting for Michigan State than any other team. Twenty-seven of them to be exact

The Spartans coach, Tom Izzo, has been magnificent. The third-seeded Red Raiders (30-6) play a suffocating defense.

None of that matters now, as Chris Beard has the Red Raiders playing for it all vs. Virginia on Monday following the team's 61-51 Final Four victory against Michigan State at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.

"This is an incredible thing because we've never been here before", said Cray Pickering.

After reaching the Elite Eight for the first time in program history in 2018, Texas Tech will seek to go all the way this season.

The greatest event in all of sports will get underway at 6:09 p.m. EST tonight on CBS when Auburn and Virginia take the court for a spot in the title game. Head coach Tom Izzo made a decision to help some Michigan State fans with their gender reveal during open practice in Minneapolis.

Senior guard Matt Mooney led Texas Tech two a two-point edge at halftime after close first half contest in Saturday's second Final Four contest.

Add this semifinal drama to the list of improbable outcomes.

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The defensive dictators turned every possession into a fight for freedom in a body-blow-trading first half.

Tony Bennett's team was down by four points with 17 seconds left on Saturday, and it still trailed by two with 1.5 seconds remaining. Cassius Winston led the way for the Spartans with 20 points on 9 of 23 shooting and led the team in assists with 10.

An offensive adjustment allowed the Red Raiders to get a little breathing room.

"There's a great relationship of Michigan State football and basketball", Izzo said.

The Hoos had a 10-point lead with roughly five minutes remaining in the game, but a severe scoring drought/run by the Tigers gave Auburn a lead with under a minute remaining.

The Spartans are very good, but the defense of Texas Tech will be the difference. However, each of these teams who earned the right to play in this year's Final Four and each has its own unique story.

The big Auckland centre and his University of Virginia Cavaliers side are through to Monday's (Tuesday NZ time) final. Yes, Winston led the Spartans with 16 points, but it came on 4-for-16 shooting, and he was held scoreless in second half for more than 10 minutes - not perking up until after Mooney had given the Red Raiders their big cushion. "They switched really well, made it hard to get into the post and things like that", Winston said.

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