Monday, February 25, 2008

Texas Tech Men's Basketball: Can They Make The Big Dance?

10.3 seconds left in the game.  Oklahoma has the ball and down by one.  The United Spirit Arena is the loudest it has been all season.  Austin Johnson, OU guard, gets the ball is double-teamed and is completely swarmed by Texas Tech defenders.  He passes the ball to Oklahoma senior player David Godbold.  Godbold, six feet behind the three point line, shoots the ball and with 1.4 seconds left in the game, Dead. Silence.  OU 66, Tech 64

The fact of the matter is that it would have been very easy for Pat Knight and his Texas Tech Red Raider team to lay down and give up on this season, with their then record 13-11 (4-6).  This past week the Red Raiders got their first road win against Colorado and their first Big 12 winning streak with a subsequent home win over Iowa State.  Texas Tech is now 6-6 in the conference and tied for 4th with A&M,  Baylor, and Oklahoma.  

With tonight's Kansas State loss to #5 Texas, the race in the middle of the Big 12 pack has become even tighter.  With four games left in the regular season, the Red Raiders are only a game out of anywhere from 3rd-10th.    Texas Tech's task is not an easy one, with four games left @ A&M (T-4th), vs. #5 Texas (1st), @ #6 Kansas (2nd), and vs. Baylor (T-4th).  I think if the Red Raiders want to get into the NCAA tournament they need to go 3-1 in these games and win at least one game in the Big 12 tournament, which really won't be easy.  If the Red Raiders go 2-2, which would still be a feat with the four remaining games, and win a conference tournament game, I really don't think it will be enough to get into the Big Dance.  Even with all the talk about the Big 12's RPI and that this is the year there could be six teams from the conference in the tourney, I don't think it will happen.  Like recent years, the Big 12 will send four teams to March Madness, and five if they are lucky.

TeamOverall Big 12 Record
Texas23-4 10-2
Kansas 24-39-3
Kansas State 18-98-5
Texas A&M 20-76-6
Baylor18-8 6-6
Oklahoma 18-96-6
Texas Tech 15-116-6
Nebraska 16-95-7
Missouri 15-125-7
Oklahoma State 14-125-7
Iowa State 14-134-8
Colorado 10-162-10
Texas Tech holds the tiebreaker over Kansas State and over Texas A&M (if they win on Wednesday)

If Texas Tech wants to extend their chances of making the NCAA tournament the first thing they need to do is beat Texas A&M in College Station on Wednesday.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

give the ball to Robert "the dude" Lewandowski!!