Texas Tech is moving on to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history after its 78-65 victory over Purdue in the Sweet 16.
The Red Raiders overcame a less-than-stellar performance from Keenan Evans to knock off a Purdue team that ached for Isaac Haas' offense inside. This was not a pretty game, but Texas Tech will take it.
Purdue goes out once again earlier than it would have liked to in the tournament, but the Boilermakers fell to one of the more underrated teams in college basketball this year, and a team that will give Villanova a fight in the Elite 8.
"We play for the guy next to us," Evans told TBS after the game. "We know that us seniors we don't have another year, and freshmen are playing like it's their seniors, so it's definitely a big win."
Here are three takeaways from Tech's victory.
1. Purdue turned it over too much
The Boilermakers were forcing the issue a bit too much in this game as they didn't have the big target in the middle of Isaac Haas to make things happen. Matt Haarms has a lot of size, but he is not nearly the offensive player Haas is and it showed.
They tried to force the ball into him in the paint and turned it over a lot because of it. When their post game didn't work inside they pressed in other aspects of the game. which resutled in a tournament-high 17 turnovers for Purdue. Matt Painter would tell you that's not winning basketball.
2. Keenan Evans wasn't great, but he was good when Tech needed it
As Keenan Evans goes, so does Texas Tech. The senior guard led the team in scoring this season and truly drives the offense when he is on the court. But for the first 30 minutes of the game he was seemingly nowhere to be found. He couldn't hit shots, he wasn't passing guys open and he kind of disappeared on the offensive end.
But when it came down to it Evans made a big 3-pointer to give Tech an eight-point lead and hit 9 of 10 free throws on the game and somehow led Tech with 16 points. He shot 3 of 8 from the floor, but made up for that with the timeliness of his buckets. That's what seniors do.
3. Carsen Edwards did absolutely everything he could to get Purdue a win
The best player on the court Friday was Carson Edwards. He was almost the smallest (6-1), but he led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting. He made the loss of Haas tolerable and nearly got the Boilermakers a win. Tech pulled away late, but Edwards kept Purdue in it all night long.