Texas Tech got off to a great start in Big 12 play last week, as they knocked off West Virginia in Morgantown for the first time in program history, and held serve at home against a top 10 nationally-ranked defense in the Kansas State Wildcats. Now at 2-0 in Big 12 play and with a few inter-conference data points to go off of, let’s take a look at where things stand with Texas Tech and the Big 12.
First, let’s examine how each Big 12 team stacks up nationally according to BPI. The actual BPI score is the expected point differential between the team listed and an “average” team on a neutral court.
|National BPI Rank||Team||BPI|
Next, let’s look at Texas Tech’s odds against its remaining Big 12 schedule according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI). Most of these have not shifted more than four percentage points since last week before any games were played. One exception to that is the game against Kansas State in Manhattan. Texas Tech’s win probability in that game has increased six points, I’m assuming in large part due to the head-to-head data point on the books (Saturday’s victory over Kansas State). BPI is also more bullish on Iowa State and Texas. Both squads got off to 2-0 starts in Big 12 play, including a massive road win for the Horns over Kansas State, and Iowa State drubbing Kansas. Against those two opponents, Texas Tech’s odds decreased slightly. In chronological order, here are Texas Tech’s remaining opponents and their odds of winning per BPI:
|Opponent||Odds to win (%)|
|@ Kansas State||64.8|
|@ Oklahoma State||78.5|
|@ Iowa State||37.3|
Texas Tech is still an underdog in just two games on its Big 12 schedule, on the road against Kansas and Iowa State. However, the road games against Texas, Oklahoma, and TCU are basically toss-ups at the moment. Remember, BPI updates daily so this is constantly changing.
Next, let’s examine the likelihood of Texas Tech’s potential win totals in Big 12 play. They average a 69% win probability in their remaining games (the same as last week). Here’s the probability that Texas Tech finishes with each remaining possible Big 12 record (I removed records that had a less than 1 percent chance of happening in order to simplify):
|Big 12 Record||Probability (%)|
Last week, the odds of finishing 12-6 or 13-5 were about even at 19 percent apiece. This was reflected by BPI predicting 12.4 conference wins for Texas Tech. Now, things have shifted to 13-5 being the most likely outcome, with 14 wins being more likely than 12, 15 wins being more likely than 11, and 16 wins being more likely than ten wins. As such, BPI’s projected win total for Texas Tech has shifted to 13.
Home court advantage among Texas Tech’s remaining opponents is still about a 26 percent difference in win probability. The better an opponent, the greater the discrepancy. The lesser the opponent, the narrower the discrepancy. For instance, the win probabilities for Texas Tech in Ames and Lawrence are more than 30 percent less than playing those same teams in Lubbock. However, the game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater is only 15 percent less likely to be a win for Texas Tech as the game against the Cowboys in Lubbock. The better the opponent, the more important home court advantage becomes.
BPI also makes projections about the Big 12 title race. Last week, Texas Tech narrowly edged out Kansas as most likely to win the conference, 48 to 44 percent. This week, Texas Tech is more of a clear frontrunner and Iowa State has surpassed Kansas as the second most likely to win the conference championship. Below is a full breakdown from BPI (note that the total percentage exceeds 100 due to the possibility of a split title):
Let’s wrap up with some other notable Texas Tech statistics:
- Texas Tech is No. 9 in Ken Pomeroy’s 2019 Pomeroy Ratings (KenPom), edging out No. 10 Kansas for tops in the Big 12.
- KenPom lists Texas Tech as having the No. 1 adjusted defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) in the nation.
- Texas Tech’s last opponent, Kansas State, is No. 5 in adjusted defensive efficiency, and Texas Tech’s next opponent, Oklahoma, is No. 6 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. Kansas is No. 8 and Texas is No. 10. This conference is a defensive gauntlet.
We've now held 1️⃣0️⃣ opponents under 6️⃣0️⃣, and we're still the only team in the country to not allow 7️⃣0️⃣.
Here are the highlights. #4To1
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) January 6, 2019
Not only has Texas Tech yet to give up 1 point per possession. Only one opponent has cracked 0.9 PPP. It is torture to play against that defense. pic.twitter.com/JshFWKOTyw
— CJ Moore (@CJMooreHoops) January 5, 2019
I just realized the Big 12 is an even bigger outlier in average projected in-conference efficiency: pic.twitter.com/RFlGedZrz3
— David Hess (@AudacityOfHoops) January 3, 2019
That’s all for this week’s data recap. Hopefully this is enough for all of you to sound smart in front of your friends by throwing out terms like “adjusted defensive efficiency.”