Rematch between No. 14 Texas and No. 18 Texas Tech has some big boots to fill after the Red Raiders won an instant classic in their first encounter on 13 January. Texas Tech recovered from a 12-point deficit to win the game 79-77, thanks to a 3-pointer shot Mac McClung, to hand the Longhorns their second defeat of the season.
At that time, Texas (14-6, 8-5 Big 12) was in the middle of a four-week span in the top five of the AP poll before reaching problems with COVID-19 that contributed to a three-game losing streak. which knocked him out of a Big 12 title bout. The win also marked the pinnacle of the Texas Tech season as the Red Raiders (14-8, 6-7 Big 12) have lost five of their eight games since, including three in a row.
But as inner-state rivals prepare to meet again, the duo still have serious post-season ambitions and hope to use their last regular season fixture to fix things before the Top 12 Tournament. Texas Tech entered as the No. 6 which is projected for NCAA Tournament on the newest Jerry Palm Bracketology, while Texas entered as the No. The projected 4.
Then there’s the matter of conference tournament seeding. The Red Raiders will be one of the four teams required to play in the first half of the event if the season ends today and need a solid finish to secure the first half bye.
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- When: Saturday, 12.00 ET
- Where: United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas
- TELEVISION: CBS | Live broadcast: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (Free)
- THERE: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)
Texas: Texas worked hard defensively in the second half on Tuesday to score a vital win over extra-time Kansas following a huge loss for West Virginia Last Saturday. Frustration among junior guards Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones simmering into a public squabble over the WVU defeat and causing a late collapse in a defeat that raises questions about Texas team chemistry. Despite poor late night shooting from Ramey and Jones, Longhorns recovered from their bickering and found a way out of the double-digit deficit to finish the Jayhawks’ sweeping season. The Longhorns are dealing with a myriad of issues related to COVID-19 after their 10-1 start, including four defeats in five games. But even with the Ramey-Jones strife creating problems, Texas has now won three of the last four and appears to have the right mix of experience and young talent (see new five-star forward Greg Brown) to pose a threat in the postseason.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders get a reminder of how tough the Big 12 are at the moment as they go through four straight matches against league opponents who seem destined for the NCAA Tournament. Some reprieve is ahead next week with a pair of non-NCAA League Tournament contenders in TCU and Iowa State. But first, the team will try and stop their losing streak in third place by finishing one game of the season against Texas. Doing the right thing might be as simple as taking a few shots from outside for the Red Raiders, who have taken just five three-pointers in each of their last three games. The squad has also slipped slightly in defense from some of its strong predecessors under fifth year coach Chris Beard.
Game prediction, select
Texas showed resilience in Tuesday’s big win against Kansas, proving that the public strife between Ramey and Jones shouldn’t be a lingering issue. The Longhorns may regain their streak and will seek revenge for their previous defeat to Texas Tech Forecast: Texas 80, Texas Tech 76
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