No. 3 Texas Tech Avoids No. 11 Notre Dame's Upset Bid, Will Face Duke in Sweet 16

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMarch 21, 2022

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Texas Tech is heading to the Sweet 16 in the West Regional, but it sure didn't come easy. 

The Red Raiders beat Notre Dame 59-53 on Sunday in what was a scrappy, tight matchup at the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

The largest lead for either side was just seven points, held by third-seeded Texas Tech, as neither team created a comfortable cushion and traded the lead back and forth in the second half. The Red Raider defense, in particular, clamped down, holding No. 11 seed Notre Dame to just 32.7 percent shooting from the field. 

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

HUGE BLOCK FOR <a href="https://twitter.com/TexasTechMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TexasTechMBB</a> 😱<br><br>Red Raiders up one with 54 seconds left!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/TIPXoArp3o">pic.twitter.com/TIPXoArp3o</a>

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

RED RAIDERS GOING ALL OUT 🔥<br><br>This <a href="https://twitter.com/TexasTechMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TexasTechMBB</a> sequence was tough <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/aGOcmmDCoL">pic.twitter.com/aGOcmmDCoL</a>

Eamonn Brennan @eamonnbrennan

Texas Tech-Notre Dame has not been a particularly well played game, but it is a massively nerve-wracking one

Steve Politi @StevePoliti

I can't decide if this Notre Dame-Texas Tech game will make Rutgers fans feel better or worse.

But Texas Tech had its own offensive issues, shooting just 4-of-15 from three (26.7 percent). 

It wasn't an aesthetically pleasing win, but Texas Tech is heading to the Sweet 16 all the same. 

Key Stats

Bryson Williams, Texas Tech: 14 points

Kevin Obanor, Texas Tech: 15 points, 15 rebounds, one block

Kevin McCullar, Texas Tech: 14 points

Dane Goodwin, Notre Dame: 14 points, eight rebounds

Paul Atkinson Jr., Notre Dame: Five points, four rebounds

Blake Wesley, Notre Dame: 11 points, eight boards

Obanor Came Up Big

Obanor was Texas Tech's fourth-leading scorer on the season, but with the Red Raiders struggling to establish much flow offensively, they needed someone to get them buckets. 

So he did what was needed, particularly in the first half. 

Dana O'Neil @DanaONeilWriter

Kevin Obanor has last nine for Texas Tech. Only guy for either team with any sort of offensive mojo right now.

Viva the Matadors @vivathematadors

Kevin Obanor came to Tech to do more in March than score an upset. Hes playing like he’s got bigger goals today. About the only Red Raider who can hit a dang shot

Granted, he's come up big in March in the past:

Joseph Hoyt @JoeJHoyt

Texas Tech's Kevin Obanor has a double-double. He's had a double-double in all five NCAA Tournament games he's played in going back to last year with Oral Roberts.

Add in his work on the boards, and he was huge for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders rotated in 10 players on Sunday night, but Obanor's minutes proved particularly crucial.

With Atkinson Struggling and Notre Dame Running out of Steam, Goodwin Tried to Step Up

Atkinson averaged 16 points per game this season but was barely a factor against Texas Tech, shooting just 1-of-4 from the field. Wesley, the team's second-leading scorer, struggled from the field (3-of-15) as well. 

Thus, Goodwin answered the call, contributing 14 points while going a team-best 5-of-8 from the floor. Even so, almost every one of the Fighting Irish's buckets was a battle of attrition.

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

Blake Wesley fights through contact and finishes over THREE Texas Tech defenders! 😤💪<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/SY3J3s49E3">pic.twitter.com/SY3J3s49E3</a>

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

BIG bucket to put (11) Notre Dame up three over (3) Texas Tech and the bench is LOVING IT😂💪<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/DL1f0zz8lO">pic.twitter.com/DL1f0zz8lO</a>

Notre Dame, playing its third game this week after being in the First Four, appeared to run out of gas down the stretch. But Goodwin did his part. 

What's Next?

Texas Tech will face No. 2 seed Duke on Thursday. The time is yet to be determined.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.