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5 things to watch for in Tech’s first round matchup against SFA

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Dallas Practice Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. Are Keenan Evans and Zach Smith really healthy?

If the two are at 100 percent, Texas Tech is a legitimate Final Four contender.

2. Will the freshmen shy away or shine on the big stage?

Jarrett Culver and Zhaire Smith have been two of the most dynamic freshmen in the Big 12 Conference, but will their inexperience cost the Red Raiders or will they play older than they really are?

3. Will the team’s sharpshooters start the tournament hot or cold?

Tommy Hamilton IV is lethal from outside the arc, particularly for a big man, and we’ve seen Brandone Francis and Niem Stevenson knock down long-range jumpers with consistency. If Tech’s role players are rolling from deep, this game could get ugly in a hurry.

4. Will the team come out flat or energized?

This is always an important question in a 14 vs. 3 matchup. 14 seeds are just good enough to beat you if you come out expecting to win. The good thing about going nine or 10 deep is that any player who does start out a game lethargic can quickly be substituted for someone who came ready to battle.

5. What will the Red Raider turnout be in the crowd?

I’m very curious to see how many Tech fans will be in attendance for this game and how loud they get. Will it be loud enough to energize the Red Raiders and make SFA uncomfortable?

Poll

What’s your biggest concern heading into this game?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    The health of Evans and Smith
    (99 votes)
  • 24%
    The team underestimates SFA
    (44 votes)
  • 3%
    Freshmen choke on the big stage
    (7 votes)
  • 13%
    Role players can’t make shots
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Crowd is a non-factor
    (4 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now