Texas Tech shut down the nations most efficient offense to reach its first Final Four in 93 years as a program.
Virginia erased the bitter taste of last years historic NCAA Tournament flop by surviving Carsen Edwards offensive onslaught to earn a spot in the national semifinals for the first time 1984.
No doubt, theres going to be a different feel next weekend in Minneapolis.
“Growing up my whole life watching these press conferences and the guy that always gets there and says undescribable,'” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “And Im like, Oh, give us something better than that. But I dont have anything better. Its undescribable.”
Virginia coach Tony Bennett knows the feeling. He also knows what its like to be on the wrong side of history.
A year ago, Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 when UMBC took down the Cavaliers in the first round.
The historic loss added a layer to arguments about whether Bennett can get it done under the brightest lights.
Bennett started building Virginia after being hired in 2009, gradually turning the program into one of the nations best.
The Cavaliers won at least 22 games every year since 2012 and reached the NCAA Tournament each of the past six years. Virginia had a shot at the Final Four in 2016, but was knocked off by Syracuse in the Elite Eight.
The Cavaliers reached the Sweet 16 one other time and had the epic fail last year.
Virginia appeared to be in trouble Saturday night, when Edwards couldnt seem to miss, hitting 10 3-pointers while scoring 42 points.
Now, finally, theyre headed to the Final Four.
“No one knows what this team has been through,” Bennett said. “I do and its good.”
So is what Beard has done.
Pre-Chris Beard Texas Tech occasionally popped up on the relevancy radar before falling back to the middle of the pack.
Pre-Texas Tech Chris Beard made a steady rise through the coaching ranks before one monumental victory made him the hot-ticket coach everyone seemed to want.
Beard coached everywhere from junior college to the ABA to Division II McMurry University after serving as a student assistant under Tom Penders at Texas.
Beards breakthrough moment came during the 2016 NCAA Tournament, when his 13th-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final five minutes to beat fifth-seeded Purdue in double overtime.
Little Rocks Cinderella run had Beards phone ringing. One call he took was to accept the head job at UNLV.
Less than a month later, he was in Lubbock after leaving the Runnin Rebels to coach Texas Tech, where he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach.
It worked out well for him and the Red Raiders.
After an 18-14 inaugural season, Texas Read More – Source