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Texas Tech destroys Michigan, advancing to second consecutive Elite 8

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The Red Raiders used huge second halfs from Culver and Moretti to escape a defensive battle with Michigan

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Michigan vs Texas Tech Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are heading back to the Elite 8! After a rough first half in which the two teams combined for 40 points, the Red Raiders were able to pull away to win easily. After being close to the Wolverines for the first 20 minutes it looked like the two teams would be locked into a first-to-50 style game. Fortunately, Jarrett Culver and Davide Moretti came alive for Tech and helped put up 39 second half points to pull away 63-44. The team was able to hold Michigan to only one three point make on 19 attempts, which came in the last minute of the game. The Red Raiders will face the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday for the right to advance to their first Final 4 in program history as the West Regional champions.

Jarrett Culver shook off a 4-11 first half to put up 22 points on 9-19 shooting. Culver had one of his best games as a Red Raider despite missing all five three point attempts, as he held Charles Matthews to 12 points on 3-9 shooting, picked up three steals, and had four assists against one turnover. Culver had a game with many highlights, including a series in the second half where he scored seven consecutive points to extend the Tech lead to 25.

Davide Moretti had a great game with his family in attendance, as he put up 15 points and four assists with no turnovers. His three point shot took the lid off the basket, and he put together a sensational three play sequence where he hit a three, dished a thunderous lob to Tariq Owens, and hit a transition three from NBA range to extend the lead to 18. Moretti had gone 0-7 from three point land in the first weekend of the tournament, however he went 3-4 vs. the Wolverines and looked extremely confident.

Matt Mooney had ten points, three rebounds, and two steals and assists. Seven of the eight rotation players scored for the Red Raiders, with Norense Odiase being the only player to go scoreless. Odiase made up for it with some great defense on Jon Teske, who was limited to four points.

Michigan only had two players score in double figures. Ignas Brazdeikis put up a double double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, however he took 16 shots to get there and was generally given more space to operate from the baseline than his other teammates. The Wolverines only shot 32%, and had three points off the bench. Their 44 points were the fewest that any two seed has scored in NCAA Tournament history, and their 16 first half points was the fewest the team has ever scored in an NCAA Tournament half. Texas Tech completely shut down the UM squad, and despite being underdogs controlled the majority of the game after a rocky start.

Texas Tech will play Gonzaga on Saturday for a chance to advance to the first Final 4 in program history. The game will be televised on TBS, and is slated to start at 5:09. Gonzaga defeated a red hot Florida State team 72-58 and has arguably the best offense left in the NCAA Tournament. The game should be a fun one, with two elite teams clashing with a trip to Minneapolis on the line.