Texas Tech vs Michigan

Texas Tech vs Michigan: No. 2 Michigan will continue its attempt to return to the national title game with a Sweet 16 matchup against No. 3 Texas Tech on Thursday night. Here is a direct link to the Texas Tech vs Michigan live stream where you can watch every moment of the March Madness Sweet 16 game.

Texas Tech vs Michigan: There are a ton of storylines that ought to make Thursday’s Michigan vs Texas Tech matchup in the Sweet 16 a delicious matchup to watch. No. 2-seed Michigan meets 3-seed Texas Tech in the West Region semifinal on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:29 p.m. ET

Michigan is looking to return to the Final Four the second consecutive year and third time overall under John Beilein. The Wolverines are 5-2 in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament under Beilein. Texas Tech is back in the Sweet 16 for the second straight season under Chris Beard. The Red Raiders advanced to the Elite Eight last season. This will be a defensive struggle.

The winner of the game will face the winner of the night’s early game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Florida State in the Elite Eight on Saturday.

Michigan lost to Villanova 79-62 in last year’s title game playing as a third seed. Now in their fourth straight tournament, the Wolverines hope to better that result over the next couple weeks.

Last year’s title game loss was the fourth such loss in a row for the team in program history, which includes the Fab Five’s back-to-back losses in 1992 and 1993. The Wolverines are now 1-6 in national title games, with their one victory coming in 1989 over Seton Hall.

The Wolverines beat No. 15 Montana 74-55 in the first round to open their tournament play this year followed by a 64-49 victory over No. 10 Florida in the second round.

Senior guard Charles Matthews led Michigan in that first-round victory with a double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) while sophomore guard Jordan Poole turned it on against Florida with a team-high 19 points.

Texas Tech is playing in the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in program history and attempting to advance to the Elite Eight for the second year in a row after first making it that far last year.

Like Michigan, the Red Raiders’ 2018 season came to an end at the hands of Villanova, with the eventual national champions winning 71-59 in the East Regional final.

The Big 12 regular season co-champions have bounced back from their upset loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals, beating No. 14 Northern Kentucky 72-57 in the first round followed by a 78-58 victory over No. 6 Buffalo.

Texas Tech has yet to really be challenged in the tournament so far, with sophore guard and NBA prospect Jarrett Culver leading the way with 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the opening round followed by a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) against Buffalo.

Senior center Norense Odiase added his own double-double against Buffalo with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Texas Tech vs Michigan

Texas Tech vs Michigan: There are a ton of storylines that ought to make Thursday’s Michigan vs Texas Tech matchup in the Sweet 16 a delicious matchup to watch. No. 2-seed Michigan meets 3-seed Texas Tech in the West Region semifinal on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:29 p.m. ET

Texas Tech vs Michigan: Here is a direct link to the Texas Tech vs. Michigan live stream where you can watch every moment of the March Madness Sweet 16 game. The tip-off is 9:39 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 28. No. 2 Michigan will continue its journey through the tournament when it takes on No. 3 Texas Tech in the Sweet 16.

No. 3 seed Texas Tech looks to advance to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year under Chris Beard. To do so, it will have to get by No. 2 seed Michigan. Jarrett Culver has led the way for the Red Raiders in the NCAA Tournament. He is one of two players (Ja Morant) in the tournament to average over 20 points (22.5) and six assists in the tournament. He is doing way more than just putting up points and finding open teammates, he is also averaging nine rebounds, two blocks and 1.5 steals through the first two games.

Michigan is ranked second in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 58.2 points per game. This has carried into the tournament, where the Wolverines have held Montana to 55 points, and more recently, Florida to 49 points. Michigan gets it scoring from a variety of players: six players average at least eight points per game, with no one averaging more than 15 points per game.

Then there’s the sense of déjà vu that Michigan is experiencing. Last year’s West Regional was at the Staples Center, just 36 miles down Interstate 5 from Anaheim’s Honda Center, and the matchups were virtually identical: Michigan vs. Texas A&M, Florida State vs. Gonzaga.

Since Michigan won the regional a year ago, Michigan coach John Beilein is trying to keep much of their routine the same.

“We just said, ‘Follow the same itinerary,’ ” the coach said. “I moved the departure up and hour because I felt we got here a little late last year.”

One more reason: It’s expected to be a close one. Oddsmakers have set the line with No. 2 Michigan between a 1.5-point or 2-point favorite over No. 3 seed Texas Tech, making this game one of the tightest projected Sweet 16 games.

The reason that I’m so intrigued by this game, though, it how the two coaches manning the sidelines are mirror images of each other. Twenty years separate Beilein and Texas Tech coach Chris Beard, but squint your eyes a bit, look at the crooked paths of how their careers took them near the pinnacle of their profession, and you could easily be staring at the same person.

Beilein’s journey to becoming a likely Hall of Fame coach has turned into a bit of a legend the past six years, during which his Wolverines have played in two NCAA title games. He wasn’t the lifelong blueblood, someone who graduated from a big program, worked his way up at a big program, and became a head coach at a big program.

He’s the opposite: A graduate of Wheeling Jesuit, an initial job coaching at a high school in upstate New York, then Erie Community College, then Nazareth College, then Le Moyne, then Canisius, then Richmond, then West Virginia, then Michigan: Never working as an assistant coach, always the head coach, eight stops in his 43 years coaching. He’s the only active collegiate coach to have 20-win seasons at four levels: Junior college, Division III, Division II and Division I.

As for Beard? Well, not the exact same path as Beilein, but just as crooked. Beard was an assistant at four Texas schools in the 1990s – Texas, Incarnate Word, Abilene Christian and North Texas – before he coached at junior colleges in Kansas and Oklahoma. After spending a decade serving the Knights – Hall of Famer Bobby, and then his son Pat – as an associate head coach at Texas Tech, Beard’s path took a sharp turn.

He headed to Myrtle Beach to coach a semi-pro team in an upstart league, then to a Division III school in Texas (McMurry University), then a Division II school in Texas (Angelo State), before landing his first Division I head-coaching gig after nearly a quarter century in the industry, at University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

His one season there did as much for a blossoming career as any single season could, as he won 30 games, took his team to the NCAA Tournament, and upset fifth-seeded Purdue in double-overtime. He briefly took the head job at UNLV before his old school, Texas Tech, came knocking with a power-conference job and a power-conference salary. In Lubbock, Texas he quickly found success: Leading the school to its first Elite Eight in his second season, and winning the Big 12 this season, now two wins away from a Final Four at a school that’s historically difficult to recruit to.

On Wednesday, a day before the two coaches were to face off for a spot in the Elite Eight, I asked Beilein about the similarities between his path and Beard’s path. While he said he wasn’t too familiar with Beard’s path, Beilein did say that there are advantages to coming up as a coach outside of the spotlight.