Date: Friday, March 6th
Time: 8:00 pm
Home Team: Baylor Bears (22-8, 10-7)
Away Team: Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-17, 3-14)
Location: Ferrell Center / Waco, TX
TV Stream: ESPN2
Projected Starting Lineups:
Where Each Team Sits:
1) Texas Tech: When the season began, the Red Raiders didn't expect to be at the bottom of the Big 12 standings heading into the regular season finale, but that is exactly where they sit. Even with a win, they have no hope of getting out of the cellar. The best case scenario at this point is they close out the regular season with a win and gain enough confidence to become upset-minded heading into the Big 12 tournament.
2) Baylor: The Bears already have a first round bye locked up in the Big 12 tournament. Baylor's focus should be on winning this game first and foremost. Then they can start hoping everything else falls into place for them to lock up the #2 seed. They could fall as low as the #5 seed, but that looks like the least likely scenario at this point. The Sagarin and Kenpom predictive modeling projects Baylor to secure the #4 seed. Needless to say, these are two teams at opposite ends of the Big 12 spectrum at this point.
The first game note to mention is the Red Raiders are 0-11 away from home this season. If that number wasn't enough to make you give up hope of winning this game, the Bears lead the Big 12 in scoring defense and scoring margin. For an offense that struggles as mightily as Tech's does, facing that strong of a defense poses a huge challenge. The Red Raiders managed to keep the mid-February matchup between these two teams close, losing 54-49. There is one big difference between that game and this one……that game was at home and this one is on the road.
This game will be tough to win, but it is not completely hopeless. The Bears rank #8 in the conference in FG percentage and Tech's defense can be stout at times. Tech's defense ranks #7 in the conference in scoring defense, just 1.2 points from being in the top half of the conference. They also held the Bears to 54 points the first time they played. If they could find some offense to compliment their defense this game, they could perhaps pull the upset.
Having said that, if I were a betting man I would double down on the Bears. They are playing for Big 12 tourney seeding, they are at home and the Tech offense has been extremely impotent all season.