Basketball

By the Numbers: Texas Tech’s Season Outlook (Week Three)

Happy Monday, everyone! After two more wins against Big 12 foes, the Red Raiders are off to a 4-0 start in conference play and are alone atop the conference standings as the last remaining unbeaten team. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is still high on Texas Tech, so let’s take a look at how they project moving forward.

First, here is where the Big 12 stacks up nationally in the BPI rankings, with each team’s BPI score (the expected margin of victory over an “average” team on a neutral court):

National BPI Rank Team BPI
8 Texas Tech 14.3
10 Kansas 13.3
15 Iowa State 12.4
25 Oklahoma 10.5
33 TCU 9.7
40 Texas 8.7
47 Baylor 7.9
49 Kansas State 7.6
57 West Virginia 7
107 Oklahoma State 3.9

 

Next, here is the remaining schedule with BPI’s predicted win probability for Texas Tech. These numbers haven’t moved more than a few points (if at all) throughout the season, but I’ll keep posting it so that y’all can reference it for the upcoming games and beyond.

Opponent Win Probability
Iowa State 77%
@ Baylor 65.8%
@ Kansas State 66.1%
TCU 82.1%
@ Kansas 38.5%
West Virginia 90.4%
@ Oklahoma 53.6%
@ Oklahoma State 77%
Baylor 86.8%
Kansas 70.2%
Oklahoma State 93.5%
@ TCU 57.4%
Texas 84.7%
@ Iowa State 40.8%

 

That’s an average remaining win probability of 70.3%. The probability that Texas Tech finishes with each remaining possible conference record is outlined below. As always, I’ve removed theoretically possible records that have less than a 1 percent chance of happening.

Big 12 Record Probability
17-1 4.2%
16-2 11.7%
15-3 19.7%
14-4 23%
13-5 19.4%
12-6 12.3%
11-7 6%
10-8 2.2%

 

You may remember that at the beginning of Big 12 play, 12 or 13 wins were the most likely outcomes, combining for just shy of 40 percent probability. After the fast start, the projected win total has shifted and now centers around a 14-4 record. That’s great news, and starts to put Texas Tech in the neighborhood of legitimately competing for a Big 12 championship. The probabilities BPI gives each Big 12 team to win the conference title are below. (Note that the total percentage exceeds 100 due to the chance of a split championship.)

After Iowa State beat Kansas in Ames earlier this year, it looked like they would be a real factor in the title race. But after two straight losses – on the road in Waco and at home to Kansas State – they’ve taken a giant leap backwards. There is a lot of season left and any given team could go a huge run, but as it stands now it is a two-horse race between the Red Raiders and the Jayhawks.

Here are some other interesting stats to close with:

  • Texas Tech remains No. 8 in KenPom rankings, but is No. 1 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (the average number of points allowed per 100 possessions).
  • Texas Tech has already played the No. 3 (Duke), No. 5 (Kansas State), No. 8 (Oklahoma), and No. 13 (Texas) ranked teams in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Texas Tech offense looks abysmal at times, but it is often not playing against mediocre or even above average defensive teams. After a few more Big 12 games, I will compare how Texas Tech does against other teams’ season averages in terms of scoring.
  • Texas Tech still has not surrendered more than 70 points in a single game. Again, as poor as the offense can be at times, they usually will only need to score somewhere in the mid-60s to give themselves a good chance to win.
  • You may have heard on Saturday’s broadcast that Texas Tech hadn’t beaten Texas in Austin since 1996. At that time, a gallon of gas was about $1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 5,000. The first flip phone went on sale that year. (Eventually, 60 million of them were sold, including my first phone about 10 years later.)
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