Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney ‘So Grateful’ to God to Reach NCAA National Title Game

Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver (R) and Matt Mooney (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Coming into the season, expectations for the Texas Tech Red Raiders were not very high. They were picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 preseason poll, and did not receive a single vote in the USA Today preseason coaches poll.

Yet here they are, facing Virginia in the NCAA Tournament’s national championship game Monday night (CBS, 9 p.m. ET).

“We’re not supposed to be here, man,” leading scorer Jarrett Culver told ESPN after advancing to the Final Four. “It’s unbelievable. It’s for sure a blessing.”

Culver recently told The Athletic that his relationship with Christ plays a big role in his life. “Before games, I’m praying and reading my Bible. It’s a routine now. I feel like God is with me on the court, and He protects me. It’s big for me,” Culver said.

Another major reason for the Red Raiders’ run has been the play of guard Matt Mooney, who’s scored 39 points over the last two games, including a game-high 22 in Saturday’s Final Four win over Michigan State. Mooney told reporters after the game that he used Joshua 1:9 as inspiration, as a friend had texted it to him and he’d seen it in his devotional.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lordyour God will be with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9

“I was just thinking on that verse, like, it’s time to be strong and courageous,” Mooney said. “It’s time to step up.”

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SOURCE: Sports Spectrum –