SportsPulse: Texas Tech Raiders are on their way to the first ever Final Four. USA TODAY's Scott Gleeson details how they did it and what makes them special.

ANAHEIM, California – Earlier this season, Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said he received a letter from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

It did not arrive long after the schools played at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20.

This was among the treats apparently aimed at people who might be surprised if not shocked that Texas Tech is heading for Final Four for the first time in school history after the third seeded Red Raiders beat top-seeded Gonzaga Saturday at the Honda Center.

Unlike Gonzaga, Duke beat Texas Tech – with a score of 69-58 after Texas Tech pulled in 60-57 with 3:41 back to play – but the red raiders impressed Krzyzewski in the process.

"After the game in the handshake line and in the hallway, coach K had some good things about our team," Beard portrayed Saturday. "What a heavyweight fight. They are really good. Good luck this season."

"Then he wrote me a letter."

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There was Rick Pitino, whom Beard said visited Texas Tech's creator room in Memphis after the red raiders struck Memphis Tigers 78-67.

"He talked to our players in the wardrobe after the game, and he said, "I've had teams less talented than you do for the last four", "you remember again. "It's about intangible and the things you stand for. (Kansas coach) Bill Even in our league we thought we were good enough to run in this tournament. & # 39;

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But the plaudits started before the season just started. Houston in a preseason scrimmage, Beard said that Cougar's coach Kelvin Sampson grabbed him "And he goes," Chris, you are really good, your new pieces, you are really good and you can compete for a (Big) [19659000] Show thumbnails

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