N.C.A.A. Final Four: Texas Tech Upsets Michigan State

MINNEAPOLIS — Texas Tech’s surprising run to its first Final Four will continue after it upset Michigan State, 61-51, on Saturday night to advance to the N.C.A.A. championship game for the first time.

The Red Raiders will play Virginia for the title on Monday night. Matt Mooney, a graduate transfer playing his first and only season at Texas Tech, led all scorers with 22 points.

[Read about Virginia’s victory over Auburn here.]

It will be the first appearance in the title game for the Red Raiders, who had never reached a regional final until last season and had not made much of an impact nationally in basketball even with the hiring of the famed coach Bob Knight for seven seasons.

But one of Knight’s protégés, Chris Beard, took over three years ago and has the Red Raiders one game away from a championship by relying on a defense that is rated as the best in the country.

The Red Raiders revolve around guard Jarrett Culver, a likely top 10 N.B.A. draft pick who is a native of Lubbock, Tex., where the university is located. But they also have integrated a pair of graduate transfers, guard Matt Mooney and post player Tariq Owens, into the lineup seamlessly.

Texas Tech blitzed its way past Northern Kentucky, Buffalo and Michigan in the early rounds of the N.C.A.A. tournament before knocking off top-seeded Gonzaga to win the West Regional.

They are the first team from the Big 12 Conference to reach the final since Kansas lost to Kentucky in 2012.

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