March Madness 2019: Top Social Media Highlights for Saturday's Elite 8

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

Virginia's Kyle Guy reacts during the second half of the men's NCAA Tournament college basketball South Regional final game against Purdue, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Two tickets have been punched. Thanks to Elite Eight victories Saturday, the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Virginia Cavaliers are headed to the Final Four of the 2019 men's NCAA tournament.

In the West Region, Texas Tech used a tremendous second half to knock out top-seeded Gonzaga. Chris Beard's team earned a historic achievement for the program in the process.

Virginia bested Purdue in the nightcap, winning the South Regional final and sealing the program's first Final Four trip in 35 years.

Miss any of the action? Want to relive the biggest moments? You've come to the right place for summaries and highlights of Saturday's exciting Elite Eight games.


Texas Tech 75, Gonzaga 69 (West Region)

Gonzaga boasts the nation's most efficient offense. Texas Tech has the country's best defense, per KenPom.com. No matter the result in Anaheim, California, the NCAA tournament was going to lose an elite team.

During the first half, Gonzaga earned the slight upper hand. Frontcourt stars Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke accounted for 23 points, helping the Bulldogs take a 37-35 lead. But every time Gonzaga edged ahead, Texas Tech seemed to have an answer.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

IT'S RAINING 👌s!!! #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/HLRUqjQX3q

Although the Zags shot 50 percent overall in the opening 20 minutes, turnovers kept Texas Tech close. The same issued plagued Gonzaga in the second half, and the team finished with 16 giveaways.

However, the Red Raiders' efficiency in half-court offense is what sealed the victory. They continually answered Gonzaga buckets with made shots of their own, including an impressive layup from Brandon Francis. Texas Tech never trailed after this.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Brandon Francis hangs and hits and @TexasTechMBB takes the lead! 👀 #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/gyErhguaCm

As most would expect, though, Texas Tech won the game on defense.

Tariq Owens continued his outstanding NCAA tourney, blocking five shots for the second time in four games. While he undeniably stepped out of bounds after swatting Hachimura's three-point attempt in the final minute, Owens provided the crucial play.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

THIS IS MARCH! 🚫 #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/BQ42Xi9r96

Gonzaga made a late charge, twice cutting the Red Raiders' advantage to two points. But an unfortunate swipe by Josh Perkins while guarding an inbounds pass resulted in a technical, and Davide Moretti's free throws sealed Tech's win.

Jarrett Culver scored a team-high 19 points for the Red Raiders, while Matt Mooney tallied 17 points and five assists.

Texas Tech is headed to the Final Four for the first time in program history.


Virginia 80, Purdue 75 (South Region)

Entering the Elite Eight, the Boilermakers had connected on 44 percent of their three-point attempts in March Madness. And the long story short? They stayed hot early.

While Sweet 16 hero Ryan Cline hit a couple of trifectas, star guard Carsen Edwards buried four to help Purdue take a 30-29 halftime advantage over top-seeded Virginia.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

C-Boogie came ready to play in the #Elite8. The @BoilerBall star has 16pts & 4 threes at the half! #MarchMadness https://t.co/IkVNqSIyD3

During the second half, Virginia sharpshooter Kyle Guy snapped out of his recent slump in a major way.

After rolling his ankle shortly before the break, he drilled four straight long-range shots. Guy helped turn a one-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead within seven minutes.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

First lead of the game for @UVAMensHoops! 👌 #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/M9ylmoNSH6

Edwards, though, continually had the answer.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

CARSEN EDWARDS FROM THE PARKING LOT! 🔥 #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/kZrMvfpM9P

The junior guard connected on four more triples and a deep jumper to keep Purdue within striking distance. At the under-eight timeout, Virginia led only 58-55.

And Edwards kept firing away.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

CARSEN EDWARDS FROM THE LOGO! 👌 #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/K6iSWsvPWm

With 3:36 remaining in regulation, Purdue owned a 64-63 edge thanks to Edwards' 35 points. The torrid shooting tapered off from there, partly because of an 80-second possession for Virginia that included two offensive rebounds and zero points.

Naturally, Edwards capitalized on the empty possession with a go-ahead threehis 10th of the game.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

40-PIECE FOR EDWARDS! 😱 @BoilerBall up 2! #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/rgbpyWcmDs

But this national quarterfinal was only getting started.

Kline split a pair of free throws to put Purdue up 70-67. The Boilers intentionally fouled Ty Jerome, who knocked down the first attempt but missed the second.

However, Mamadi Diakite tipped out the miss, which Kihei Clark collected. He threw an absolute laser to Diakite, who tossed in a floater at the buzzer to force overtime.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

WE'RE HEADING TO OT! 😱 #MarchMADNESS | #Elite8 https://t.co/pmX7SHt35Z

In the extra period, the teams traded layups and free throws. Virginia's De'Andre Hunter's go-ahead layup provided the breakthrough with 28 seconds left. Edwards missed a three on the other end, and then Guy drained two free throws for a 78-75 UVA edge.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

THIS GAME IS PURE 🔥! @UVAMensHoops take the lead AGAIN! #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/4s1ZmYXJMe

Heartbreak followed for the Boilers. Edwards whipped a pass down the left sideline, but Cline mishandled the ball. The turnover effectively sealed the Wahoos' thrilling victory.

Edwards finished with 42 points, while Guy tallied 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Jerome had 24 points and seven assists.

Virginia is going to the Final Four for the first time in Tony Bennett's outstanding 10-year tenure.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.