The Red Raiders dropped two perfectly winnable road games against Texas and Iowa State after spending two weeks ranked #8 in the AP Poll. After a string of disappointing losses, it’s natural for fans to feel concerned, but it is definitely way too early to jump ship.
If you’re new to the basketball bandwagon, first of all let me say welcome aboard. We’re happy to have you. I get it. It’s no fun watching a team that’s not competitive. Even my loyalties wavered during the Pat Knight and Billy Gillespie years. If you are in fact just joining us, here are some things you should know before the words “typical Tech” begin to re enter your vocabulary.
This isn’t football
Like most good Red Raider fans, you probably keep up with college football semi religiously, which can cause some confusion when switching over to basketball. For one, a single game (or even several games) can’t derail an entire season like it can in football. When the Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma State last fall, any chance of winning the Big 12 was all but lost and teams are expected to go nearly undefeated to even be in the playoff conversation. Not the same story on the basketball side. The last team to go undefeated in basketball was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.
Texas Tech is still a contender
Believe it or not, Texas Tech is still on track to win the Big 12 and make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Texas Tech is still ranked #14 and is still in the top three of the Big 12. The secret to success, as demonstrated by the Kansas Jayhawks, is to go undefeated at home and then go .500+ on the road. The Red Raiders are 13-0 at home and still have a winning conference record at 5-3. Even after the losing skid, Tech appears as a 4th or 5th seed in most tournament predictions.
The Big 12 is really good
The Big 12 is arguably the best conference in college basketball. Chris Beard talks about how there is no bottom in this conference and while it may sound like typical “coach speak”, there is a lot of truth in his comments. There might be seven teams sent to the tournament and people have debated that all 10 should make the postseason. The worst teams in the Big 12 (Iowa State and Texas) are better than half of the teams in the nation. Hilton Coliseum has arguably one of the toughest road atmospheres in the league and no game is a gimme. As long as Tech can stay above .500 in conference play, they should be a lock for the tourney.
So back away from the edge and relax. There is still a lot of season left. There will be ups and downs, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is arguably the best basketball team since the Bob Knight era. There is not a team in the country that this team can’t play with. This is a young team and Tech’s comeback win over Oklahoma State may have proven that they can survive without Zach Smith. Sit down and enjoy the ride.
What’s your take?
How will Tech finish the regular season?
This poll is closed
Big 12 champs
Top half in the Big 12
Bottom half of the Big 12
Last in the Big 12