Would it be, could it be? Yes! The Anti-Preview has been pulled from the bowels of its stagnation for a very special occasion. Texas Tech men’s basketball has stunned our weak, feeble minds with their success this season and are playing in the Sweet Sixteen this Friday! With foolish articles we have written explaining how important it was we at least get 8 conference wins (shout out to Andy Eason for not knowing how good we would end up), we are on the precipice of Texas Tech history. Never has a men’s basketball team made it further than the Sweet Sixteen but if there ever were a team of Red Raiders that could do it - it would be this team. Their opponents? A team we don’t meet but once every third time that the planets align during the festival season of swooping eagles and fireworks set off by a guy named John-Micheal... that’s right we are facing the dreaded...
PURDUE WAGE-BASED FACTORY WORKERS
Located in the sunny Midwest, this massive research university is home to a basketball team that has worked its way into the national spotlight. At this level of the tournament (at least here in the East region) there are no flukes teams. Purdue has fought like hell to get to the Sweet Sixteen, all while losing their star big man Isaac Haas to a fractured elbow. The boil-producing-metal-men have had a tremendous season as well, ending up 30-6 on the year and never really leaving the comfort of the top-15 rankings. This came from incredible offensive production and the ability to keep composed during difficult situations.
With Purdue’s offensive production matched up against Texas Tech’s dominating defense, this promises to be the best Sweet Sixteen game for this tournament (totally unbiased, I promise). For Purdue, expect Isaac Haas to be out despite word that Purdue engineering students have been developing a new brace to get Haas back on the court. You’d have a better chance of having a perfect bracket than Haas has of playing on Friday. The NCAA shut down the most expensive brace you could buy for the Butler game so, logically, it seems unlikely they’ll approve an untested, unregulated, and probably aesthetically disturbing brace built by engineers who don’t have their degrees yet. I feel for the guy, but seriously, if he was cleared and then had his elbow explode or something then we’re all gonna be in for some hell with more NCAA regulation discussions.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING
The strange part about this whole Anti-Preview is that I am not writing for an 11am game. Instead, get ready, Texas Tech is playing at 9pm! I’m not sure what is worse, but obviously the night life gives us a world of options. To commemorate the Red Raider’s trip to Boston it would be appropriate to suggest a Bostonian cocktail. After scouring the internet, the most obvious choice is a drink that has caused the most rift among consumers. It is called the “Ward Eight,” and first came onto the scene in 1907 where a column in the Boston Herald toted it as a drink that just makes your mouth water.
The ingredients, to be presented in a goblet, were listed: whiskey, lemon
juice, powdered sugar, “French” grenadine and soda, with “lemons, oranges,
pineapple, and strawberries” as garnish.
Good Lord, it’s no surprise that a century later you will be hard pressed to find a single bartender in Boston who would make one of these. Recently, however there’s been a slight turn around of brave cocktail enthusiasts. One such man, Chad Arnholt, frankly said that “I was like, you know what? I want to figure this drink out, because every time I had it, it really sucked.” Naturally I thought we could try to do better than the northerners so here’s a recipe I found. Also click here if you want to read more about the Ward Eight - it’s where I got all of this information.
2 ounces straight rye whiskey
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add the ingredients to a Boston shaker or cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for a good 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass.
If it sucks just make something else.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING
If you’re making a trip up to Beantown for the Sweet Sixteen then you’re really not going to be wanting for much. Boston is a coastal town with a lot of international presence so you can find just about anything! The one thing I implore you to go find is the ROAST BEEF 1000 sandwich at Cutty’s and yes, it’s worth the all-caps and bold lettering. One second I think I have a picture somewhere- oh there it is:
BOOM. Get thick America! There are two kind of roast beef sandwiches: good roast beef sandwiches and then incredible roast beef sandwiches. Cutty’s ROAST BEEF 1000 is far and beyond in the incredible category. Their sandwich is king with its house-roasted meat, crispy shallots, and sharp cheddar smashed between warm crispy brioche buns. Oh don’t forget the generous drizzle of Thousand Island dressing. It comes in right under $10 so it’s a fairly priced item in Boston. It isn’t too far from the stadium either, so you can see a bit of the Boston street life on your way to the meat life.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE WEARING
Boston, MA. The high is 41 on Friday. Don’t be silly, Red Raiders - the North is slow when it comes to season changing.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS GAME
This game is going to be loud, rowdy, and just a little bit historic. With the probability of Purdue missing out on their big man Haas, Texas Tech has a real opportunity to spread defensive pressure to other players and capitalize on mistakes. Kenpom has the Red Raiders ranked at no. 4 most defensively efficient team with the three above them (Virginia, Cincinnati, and Michigan State) already eliminated from the tournament. Like most of our games expect the announcers to say at some point that “the winner of this game is going to be whoever has the ball last.” Usually, that points towards as good a match up as any.
FIVE REASONS TO DISLIKE *checks map* INDIANA
1. According to a super accredited and trustworthy site, out of the 100 largest U.S. cities Indianapolis ranked 23rd for having the most douche bags. Really what launched Indianapolis up the rankings is that it is home to the 12th highest concentration of Nickelback fans.
2. Tornadoes, and lots of them. Indiana has the third most tornadoes per square mileage of all the United States. In most states the worst thing to fall out of the sky onto you is bird poop or a tumbleweed in Lubbock - In Indiana it could be a giant twister descending from above to transport your body and all of your belongings into another state.
3. So the state of Indiana is known as “Crossroads of America” because it has more Interstate Highway miles per square mile than any state. Honestly I did not think anything of it until after I spent some time on the web and found a sign that said “Please, won’t you at least stop for gas?” I’ll let you draw your conclusions about Indiana’s attachment issues.
4. Parks & Recreation, one of the best series on Netflix is set in Pawnee, Indiana. Which does not exist. That is incredibly upsetting to me and the lack of effort by the people of Indiana to start a new town called Pawnee irks me further. But really, even Pawnee was kind of a dump in the tv show so maybe that’s saying something.
5. Indiana would make a terrible waffle shape.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
This may come as incredibly optimistic, but this game is 50/50. Let me explain why that is important. At the beginning of this season, a number of experts and such predicted that Tech would end up in the middle of the Big 12 with a fighting chance at the NCAA Tournament. Purdue on the other hand was predicted to possibly win the Big 10 and expected to make it to the tournament with a deep run. Fast forward to now and Texas Tech has essentially a 50/50 chance against Purdue to make the Elite Eight. Something that has never happened for the Red Raiders.
This game is about to pit two incredibly gritty teams against each other and I couldn’t have more confidence in Texas Tech. Coach Beard, every single player, the basketball staff, the fans - everybody has contributed to reviving a basketball culture where we can actually believe that this team can beat anyone. Regardless of the outcome of this game there is no way you could take away how fantastic this season has been. It’s like Coach Beard said, “Prince today, frog tomorrow ... But I want to be a prince one more day.”
Giddy up, Red Raiders... we might just be in for one hell of a finish here.
Will Texas Tech reach the Elite Eight for the first time in history?
This poll is closed