Texas Tech Is Headed to the Sweet 16… Again.
Kevin Obanor was the player of the game for Texas Tech in their Round of 32 win over Notre Dame, but nobody made a bigger play than Marcus Santos-Silva late. The Red Raiders beat Notre Dame 59-53, but it was dicey late as ND had a lead with less than two minutes left in the game.
After the Fighting Irish took the lead 52-49, Texas Tech scored on eight straight free throws. Two of those came from Santos-Silva after he got a huge block on the defensive side of the court to give the Red Raiders a three-point lead and essentially ice the game.
Kevin Obanor had his second straight double-double in tournament action with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Those 15 rebounds included an astounding seven offensive boards, nearly as many as Notre Dame's entire team had.
Texas Tech shot just 35 percent from the field, but held Notre Dame to 32 percent as they scratched and clawed through the game against the incredibly hot Fighting Irish, who had won two tournament games, including their play-in game and the upset of six seed Alabama.
After the game, Head Coach Mark Adams was complimentary of Notre Dame and deflected praise of his brilliant decision to switch up the defense that shut down their offense across the final two minutes, leading to the run that won the game.
This is Texas Tech's third Sweet 16 trip in the last four tournaments. The last two trips were successful, leading to an Elite 8 loss to Villanova and a National Championship appearance against Virginia in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Of course, there was water in the locker room:
Even Adams was splashing after he announced the Sweet 16 destination:
The Red Raiders will face Duke on Thursday night on CBS after the conclusion of Arkansas and Gonzaga, which will be the matchup between winners in the Elite 8.
Duke is the 2-seed in the West Region and will have a lot to play for as longtime Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire at the end of their season, which is hopefully on Thursday night.
Texas Tech has played the tougher schedule and will likely be favored in the matchup.