Basketball

By the Numbers: Texas Tech’s Big 12 Outlook (Week Five)

Texas Tech was able to put their three-game losing streak in the rearview mirror on Saturday, notching a close win over Arkansas in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Of course, the non-conference slate on Saturday had no impact on the Big 12 title race, but let’s examine the remaining conference season outlook before Tech’s tilt with TCU in Lubbock tonight, featured on ESPN’s “Big Monday.”

First, here is how the Big 12 ranks nationally according to ESPN’ Basketball Power Index (BPI). The BPI score is the predicted margin of victory against an “average” team on a neutral court.

BPI Rank Team BPI
12 Iowa State 13.9
13 Kansas 13.4
15 Texas Tech 12
24 Oklahoma 11.1
34 TCU 10.3
37 Texas 9.3
38 TCU 9.2
42 Kansas State 8.9
76 West Virginia 5.5
108 Oklahoma State 3.7

 

After some offensive struggles have been exposed, Texas Tech’s odds in remaining Big 12 matchups took about a three percent hit across the board. Games that BPI had Texas Tech favored in – such as at Oklahoma and at TCU – have now flipped the other way. Also worth noting is that BPI expects Tech to have a tougher time in Ames than Lawrence.

Opponent Chance to Win (%)
TCU 75.6
@ Kansas 31.7
West Virginia 90.5
@ Oklahoma 43.9
@ Oklahoma State 72
Baylor 79.2
Kansas 63.6
Oklahoma State 91.8
@ TCU 47.7
Texas 79
@ Iowa State 28.2

 

On average, BPI’s remaining win probability comes out to 64 percent. Using that average, here are the remaining Big 12 record possibilities for Texas Tech with the likelihood that they occur. As always, records that are technically possible but that have less than a one percent chance of occurring are omitted.

Big 12 Record Probability (%)
14-4 4.6
13-5 12.8
12-6 21.7
11-7 24.4
10-8 19.2
9-9 10.8
8-10 4.3
7-11 1.2

 

Needless to say, a three-game losing streak in conference play does a number (no pun intended) on any team’s championship aspirations. According to BPI, here are the odds that each team wins the Big 12 regular season title, omitting teams with less than a five percent chance (the total exceeds 100 percent due to the possibility of a split title).

Team Chance to win Big 12
Kansas 58%
Iowa State 35%
Texas Tech 22%
Kansas State 9%
Baylor 6%

 

Before the Kansas State game last week, I opined that Tech needed to win four out of their next five to remain in good position in the conference title race. With a loss in Manhattan and a trip to Lawrence looming, that is looking unlikely. The best-case scenario now is for Tech to handle their business against TCU and West Virginia in their next two home games, and get to 3-2 in this five-game stretch with a road win in Norman. That would put their conference record at 7-4, and while a Big 12 title would be unlikely, it would put them in a decent position down the stretch.

Fun Facts

  • With the win over Arkansas on Saturday, Texas Tech now leads the all-time head-to-head series with the Hogs 40-39. The Red Raiders are the only team from the former Southwest Conference to have a winning record against the Razorbacks.
  • The victory also extended Texas Tech’s home non-conference win streak to 47 games. The last loss to a non-conference opponent was in 2013 against LSU.
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