Red Raiders take on No. 23 Florida in Round 2 of NCAA Tournament

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

DALLAS, Texas – Fresh off its first NCAA Tournament victory since the 2004-05 season, the No. 14 Texas Tech men's basketball team meets No. 23 Florida in Saturday's NCAA Tournament Second Round.

Tipoff is slated for approximately 7:40 p.m. CT from the American Airlines Center home of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. The game will be televised by TNT along with the NCAA March Madness app. Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude will serve as the announcing team.

TNT can be found on DirecTV channel 245 and Dish channel 138 coupled with channel 1109 on AT&T U-Verse and channel 34 on Suddenlink in the Lubbock area.

The Texas Tech Sports Network will carry the game live on its flagship stations Double T 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM The Score and 950 AM in Lubbock. Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will have the call. The radio broadcast also will be available on the Texas Tech Sports Network radio affiliates. Fans can interact with Saturday's broadcast by following @GunsUpRadio on Twitter.

Westwood One's NCAA radio broadcast featuring Ryan Radtke and Jim Jackson will air on Sirius channel 145 and XM channel 203. That broadcast also can be heard on the TuneIn Radio app.

The Red Raiders (25-9) are coming off a 70-60 victory over Stephen F. Austin where Texas Tech erased a seven point deficit inside the final 10 minutes and closed the game on a 15-3 run. Defensively, the Red Raiders held the Lumberjacks without a field over the last 5:23 of the contest.

Florida (21-12) dialed up a 77-62 win over St. Bonaventure. The Gators flipped the contest behind a 15-0 spurt which turned a 22-21 deficit into a 36-22 advantage. UF held a 32-22 edge in paint points and tallied 24 of the game's 34 fastbreak points.

The Gators have won both of the all-time meetings with Texas Tech which came in a home-and-home series during the 1960-61 and 1962-63 seasons.

"Just pleased to advance," Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. "You know, really proud of our players. You work so hard, and these games are so hard to win. They really don't define a season. A lot of really good basketball teams, championship basketball teams, will leave this tournament at some point, but for us, it's just a deal where we want to try to live another day as a team that enjoys being around each other in practice and games, so we just feel fortunate to advance to the second round.

Our respect for Florida and their program and their coach couldn't be any higher. This is one of the best offensive teams in college basketball, the three-point shooting. They're a really good defensive team that gets a lot of steals and turns you over. They have a coach that's one of the best coaches in college basketball. His teams play hard. They don't beat themselves. I think they've been to the Elite 8 like the last four or five times they've been in this tournament. They have our full respect and full attention.

From our standpoint, we think we're going to have to play the best game of the season tomorrow. That's our approach, and that's our objective."


The Red Raiders have held 14 opponents to 60 points or less and have won 18 of their 25 games by double figures. Texas Tech continues to be the Big 12 frontrunner in scoring defense (64.6 PPG) and opponent field goal percentage (40.2).

Keenan Evans has managed 17.7 points, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. His 17.7 points per game are second on the Big 12 rankings and are the highest for a Texas Tech player since former All-America Jarrius Jackson posted 19.9 points per game in 2006-07. Evans poured in 19 of his game-leading 23 points versus Stephen F. Austin during the second half

Jarrett Culver and Zhaire Smith has chipped in 11.5 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. The duo is ranked third among Big 12 freshmen scoring duos only behind Oklahoma's Trae Young and Brady Manek followed by Iowa State's Lindell Wigginton and Cameron Lard.

Smith has notched double figures in 10 of his last 12 games. He has posted 13.3 points per game over the 12-game stretch headed by a pair of games over 20 points against Iowa State on Feb. 7 and then No. 8 Kansas on Feb. 24. Smith notched 10 points and matched a season's best eight rebounds against SFA in his NCAA Tournament debut.

Culver has secured both of Texas Tech's double-doubles on the season. His 391 points are second among freshmen in program history and enter Saturday's game 22 away from passing Martin Zeno for the program's all-time list.

Texas Tech's bench has been led by Niem Stevenson (7.5 PPG), Zach Smith (6.1 PPG), Tommy Hamilton IV (5.7 PPG), Brandone Francis (5.3 PPG) and Davide Moretti (3.4 PPG).

Stevenson has garnered 12.0 points per game and connected on 10 three-pointers over his last five games. He exploded for a career-best 24 points at West Virginia back on Feb. 26.

Smith turned in a solid all-around effort with nine points, four rebounds and three blocks. The three blocks moved Smith within eight blocks of the program's all-time record held by former All-American Tony Battie.

Justin Gray and Norense Odiase have picked up 5.0 and 4.0 points per game, respectively. Gray filled the box score with four points, seven rebounds and two steals during the SFA outing.


The Gators have a balanced attack with four players in double figures headed by Jalen Hudson (15.3 PPG), Egor Koulechov (13.8 PPG), KeVaughn Allen (11.1 PPG) and Chris Chiozza (11.1 PPG).

Hudson has been inserted into the starting lineup in nine of the last 11 outings. He has rattled off 20 or more points seven times which includes a 27-point effort at Alabama. Hudson is a two-time SEC Player of the Week two times and is UF's first two-time SEC Player of the Week since Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier II in 2013-14.

Koulechov has started all 33 games for the Gators and has netted six 20 performances of 20 or more points. He tallied a 20 points versus St. Bonaventure in the NCAA opener. The Russian and Rice transfer garnered 25 points highlighted by five treys against Texas Tech last season.

Allen was a preseason All-SEC First-Team pick and has averaged double figures in all three seasons with the Gators. He was the 53rd player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points and enters Saturday's action 10 points shy of 1,300. Allen poured in a season's best 28 points against Arkansas on Jan. 17 and notched a career-high 35 points versus Wisconsin in last year's NCAA Sweet 16 round.

Chiozza has had a solid senior season for Florida and also surpassed the 1,000 point barrier recently versus Arkansas at SEC Tournament. He dished out 11 assists without a turnover during the St. Bonaventure game. Chiozza is the sixth player in the last 20 seasons to have 11 assists and no turnovers in a NCAA Tournament game, the last was VCU's Joey Rodriguez in 2011.

Keith Stone has come off the bench for the Gators in the last five games. He has registered 8.9 points per game and has garnered double figures in four of the last seven games. Stone was one point shy of a career-high with 22 points versus Arkansas at the SEC Tournament.


The winner of Saturday's contest moves onto the NCAA Sweet 16 round to face off with either No. 2 seed Purdue or No. 10 seed Butler next weekend in Boston. Friday's game will be televised by either TBS or TNT.

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