Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders to face Gonzaga next season

It is being reported that the Texas Tech basketball team will face Gonzaga next season in a neutral-site contest in Phoenix, Arizona.

While we are still lamenting the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament, we appear to have received a morsel of news about next year’s Texas Tech basketball schedule and apparently, Tech will be taking on a program that it has beaten in two of its most famous NCAA Tournament wins.  It is being reported by college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein that Tech will face Gonzaga in Phoenix, AZ next season in what will likely be the most high-profile game on the non-conference portion of the schedule.

This will be the fourth-straight year that Chris Beard has scheduled a neutral-site game against one of the nation’s marquee programs.  In each of the last three years, Tech played a December contest in Madison Square Garden in New York City facing Seaton Hall, Duke, and Louisville respectively.

What’s more, Beard and the Red Raiders will return to NYC again in 2020 to participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off Thanksgiving week.  The other three teams in that event will be Arizona, Cincinnati, and St. John’s.  However, this event will take place in Brooklyn at the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, not MSG.

As for the trip west to face Gonzaga, it will be the fourth time these programs have met.  Hopefully, the game will follow the same script as the previous three.  Of course, two of the most memorable wins in Red Raider history came at the expense of the Bulldogs.

In 2005, Bob Knight‘s Red Raiders, the No. 6 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, upset No. 3 seed Gonzaga 71-69 in Tucson, Arizona.  That day, Ronald Ross had 24 points and Jarius Jackson added 18 in the second-round matchup.

It was a three-pointer by Ross with just 1:06 to play that put Tech ahead and a pair of late free throws from the former walk-on guard that helped send the Red Raiders to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996.

In 2007, the Red Raiders took home a 73-63 victory over the Zags in the Great Alaska Shootout.  And of course, everyone remembers the third meeting between these two programs.

Last season, the Red Raiders upset No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the Elite Eight in Anaheim, California to advance to the program’s first-ever Final Four.  In that game, Jarrett Culver had a team-high 19 points, Matt Mooney added 17, and Davide Moretti scored 12, including two huge three-pointers late in the second half.

This season, Gonzaga was on its way to likely being another No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Going 31-2 on the year and 15-1 in conference play, the Bulldogs finished the year ranked second in the final Associated Press poll behind Kansas.

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Expect the Bulldogs to be back in the national title hunt and that’s where Tech plans to be as well.  It should all add up to another exciting high-profile non-conference game for the Red Raiders as they continue to test themselves against the best teams in the nation.

 

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