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Final Four: How Texas Tech and Michigan State match up

Michigan State players warm up during a practice session for the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA c
Michigan State has the ninth-best defense in the nation and the Spartans beat the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Duke, in the Elite Eight.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

WHO: No. 2 Michigan State (32-6) vs No. 3 Texas Tech (30-6).

WHAT: NCAA tournament national semifinal, Saturday, 5:45 p.m. PDT.

WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis. TV: Channel 2.

UPDATE: Texas Tech’s defense has the best points-allowed-per-100 possessions ratio (84) since stat guru Ken Pomeroy started tracking the figure in 2002. The Red Raiders have held teams to 36.9% shooting this year, second lowest in the nation. Only five teams have scored more than 70 points against Texas Tech and no one has done so in the tournament. “We try to guard at a high level,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said. “It’s been the identity of our teams at all different levels, and currently at Texas Tech. It’s something we try to recruit to. We certainly coach and emphasize it.” Michigan State has the ninth-best defense in the nation and the Spartans beat the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Duke, in the Elite Eight. “This team isn’t as physically tough, but they might be as mentally tough as any team I’ve ever had,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who is in his eighth Final Four. “So the word ‘toughness’ is still there.”

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