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Tech travels to Austin to face Texas in a pivotal Big 12 match-up

This game is a crucial win for the Red Raiders.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Raiders will be in Austin tomorrow to face the Texas Longhorns. Texas Tech is coming off of an eight-point victory against Oklahoma in Lubbock on Tuesday and is now 4-4 in Big 12 Conference play. The Longhorns are coming off of an 11-point loss to the No. 3 ranked Kansas Jayhawks on Monday night.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This game is a must-win for the Red Raiders in my opinion. The Longhorns have a 4-5 conference record and are on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament. This win would boost their resume, and it would most likely decimate the Red Raiders’ chances of having a good seed in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Longhorns are led by Shaka Smart in his 5th year at the school. He has been on the hot seat all season long and some Longhorn fans incorrectly think Chris Beard wants to replace him. He has a relatively short rotation with only his five starters playing all 22 games this season. The others on the team do not play very big roles and they rely on their five starters to make most of the scoring and impact in the game.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Their leading playing, in my opinion, is Matt Coleman. He will play the point guard position and is their primary ball-handler. He scores 12.7 points per game leading the team, he also is their leading assist man with 4.1 per game. he can also pull down the occasional rebound as he averages 3.1 per game. He is a great three-point shooter, shooting 41% on the season. It will be crucial to guard him and I think Kyler Edwards will get the first crack at guarding him.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Their other two guards will also be problems for the Red Raiders. Andrew Jones has had an amazing recovery from his battle with cancer and the season he has had this year is proof that you can do anything you can put your mind to. Jones is averaging 10.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3 assists per ball game. He is also a good three-point shooter at 38.5%.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Courtney Ramey is the other guard to watch for. He averages similar scoring to Jones with 10.2 points per game. He is less efficient from behind the three-point line but his rebounding is increased compared to Jones as he averages almost 4 per game. Jericho Sims is their big presence in the paint. He leads them in rebounding with 8.1 per game and blocks with 1.3 per game. He also scores 10.1 points per game.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Raiders are better than this team. They should come out and out athletic, out-shoot, and out-size the Longhorns. But you never know how the Red Raiders are going to come out on the road and that is why this game is harder for me to pick than most. I do think the Red Raiders will win the game, but I think it’ll be closer than most think.

Score Prediction:

Red Raiders: 75

Longhorns: 71