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Texas Tech Sports Preview: 3/17-3/23

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Baseball looks to continue its strong start heading into conference play, Softball seeks to get over .500, and the Big 12 gets ready to have an impact in the Big Dance.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech baseball looks to have gotten back on track after going 4-1 last week and moved up two spots to #12 in the Baseball America rankings. Softball went 3-3 last week and sits at 15-15 on the year. This week provides them with the chance to get over .500 before conference play. The Big 12 has 7 teams represented in the NCAA Tournament (2 seed, three 3 seeds, 5 seed, 9 seed, and 11 seed) and if I was a betting man I wold have several of those teams making deep runs.

Baseball

#12 Texas Tech (14-5) vs Oral Roberts (9-8), 3/17-3/18

#12 Texas Tech (14-5) at Oklahoma (15-8), 3/20-3/22

TV: Fox Sports Net, 3/21 at Oklahoma 2:02PM CST

Texas Tech had a good showing last week winning 4 of 5 which was good enough to move up to #12 in the Baseball America rankings. Tech hosts Oral Roberts to a two-game series before Big 12 play starts against Oklahoma. Oral Roberts has had an up and down season thus far and Tech doesn't look to help them right the ship. This two-game series should be a nice way for Tech to prepare for conference play. After wrapping up its short series with Oral Roberts the team heads to Norman for what looks to be a pretty competitive series. Oklahoma is always pretty decent at baseball and enjoyed a nice weekend in Hawaii where they won 3 of 4. Their game Saturday will be aired on Fox Sports Net so if you want to see our boys in action be sure to tune in.

Softball

Texas Tech (15-15) at Seattle University (9-17), 3/18

Texas Tech (15-15) at #18 University of Washington (26-5), 3/19 7:00PM CST & 9:30PM CST

The Lady Raiders played .500 ball last week and sit at .500 (15-15) for the year. They head to the state of Washington this week for 3 games, one to Seattle University and then a doubleheader with the University of Washington. Seattle is struggling this year and Tech looks to pick up a win before playing the very talented University of Washington. Washington is ranked #18 according the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Huskies beat the same Seattle team earlier this year to a score of 17-1. If the Lady Raiders come home with 2 wins that would be a very good outing.

Big 12 Basketball

The Big 12 is arguably the best basketball conference in the nation and sent 7 teams to the NCAA Tournament. I expect the higher seeds (2,3,5) to cruise to easy wins in their first match-ups. I like Texas to pull the upset against Butler. Texas played Iowa State down to the buzzer in the Big 12 tournament and proved they were worthy of earning a spot in the Big Dance. I believe Texas is too talented for Butler and in the end they walk out with the W. I have Oklahoma St pulling off a win against Oregon. If you were to look at this on paper you would think Oregon wins this one. Oregon went 13-5 in Pac-12 play and Oklahoma St wrapped up conference play with an 8-10 record. The Pac-12 only sent 4 teams to the NCAA Tournament and one (#11 UCLA) shouldn't even be there according to most. Oklahoma St on the other hand swept Baylor, who is a #3 seed, in regular season play and also picked up a win against Kansas who just happens to be a #2 seed.

TV: truTV, TBS, CBS

#3 Iowa State vs #14 UAB, 3/19 11:40AM CST. My Prediction: Iowa State wins by 25+

#3 Baylor vs #14 Georgia State, 3/19 12:40PM CST. My Prediction: Baylor wins by 20+

#11 Texas vs #6 Butler, 3/19 1:45PM CST. My Prediction: Texas steals one away, wins by 5

#2 Kansas vs #15 New Mexico State, 3/20 11:15AM CST. My Prediction: Kansas wins by 30+

#5 West Virginia vs #12 Buffalo, 3/20 1:10PM CST. My Prediction: WVU wins by 15+

#9 Oklahoma State vs #8 Oregon, 3/20 5:50PM CST. My Prediction: Oklahoma St wins by 3

#3 Oklahoma vs #14 Albany, 3/20 6:27PM CST. My Prediction: Oklahoma wins by 25+

Don't forget to fill out your VTM bracket!