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Texas Tech Ousted by Butler, 71-61

The Red Raiders improbable season is over. Congratulations to Tubby Smith and his players on a wonderful year.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For some, the NCAA Tournament can be a cruel reward for a successful season. Today you can put Tech in that category. The team fought hard, but in the end Butler put together a run that could not be overcome. The Red Raiders came out ready to play today and for the first 15 minutes they looked like the better team on the court. With about 5 minutes to go in the first half Butler made some defensive adjustments which forced Tech to start taking ill advised jumps shots. At halftime Tech only trailed by 2 and the stage was set for a wild second half.

Unfortunately Tech never could get any momentum going in the second half and Butler just kept making plays when they needed them. My biggest fear when I saw the bracket had us playing Butler was their post season experience. I felt we matched up really well as a team, but the NCAA Tournament brings pressure. A type of pressure that this team has never felt before and it really showed the last 10 minutes of the game. Butler looked poised and we looked very uncomfortable. That was the difference in the game and there was nothing Tech could do to settle down.

Regardless of this outcome the future looks bright. The Red Raiders are only losing two players from the team. Gotcher and Williams are seniors and will be missed, but everyone else will be back. Next years starting lineup will comprise of 4 juniors and 1 senior. The future is bright for the men's basketball program and we will be back in the big dance next year.

We should all be proud of this team and the season they had. No one believed this team had a chance at the post season. Yes we lost today, but we all just witnessed the beginning of what will be a string of NCAA Tournament appearances for years to come.

Game Thoughts
  • Senior Devaugntah Williams went out on top with 18 points. I was happy he had a good game to close out his career.
  • Toddrick Gotcher only had 5 points, but his leadership this season was a big part of why Tech had the opportunity to play today.
  • Ross and Gray each had 10 points. They will be the backbone of the team next year.
  • Dunham for Butler absolutely killed us today. He had 23 points that included 5 three pointers. Tech never could find a way to stop him.
  • I really believe Tech peaked in February. Odiase came back too late for Tech to adjust their offense and get in a rhythm with him. Tech ended up losing 4 of their last 5 to close out the season.