Things aren’t looking great for Texas Tech at the moment. I’m not as panicked as others about the Red Raiders’ tournament chances, but barring an upset this week it appears things could get quite nervous. Right now I can’t help but look back at a litany of losses, ranging from what could have been to some ugly ones.
If Tech had one more Big 12 win or had won either of its overtime bouts against Creighton or Kentucky, the tournament wouldn’t be in jeopardy at all. But unless Tech knocks off Baylor or Kansas this week, it looks like they may need a win or two in the Big 12 tournament to feel safe on Selection Sunday.
Here’s where the analytics have Texas Tech now that we’ve reached the home stretch.
ESPN Basketball Power Index
Here are the odds BPI gives Texas Tech to win its two remaining games:
|Opponent||Chance to Win (%)|
|National Rank||Team||KenPom Rating|
|National Rank||Team||Sagarin Rating|
- Texas Tech 59.5, Baylor 68.8
- Texas Tech 62, Kansas 69
- NET Ranking: 20
- Bracket Matrix: 8 seed (doesn’t appear to have been updated after Saturday’s loss to Texas)
- RPI: 67
- SOS: 74 (not sure if this includes games that haven’t been played yet; if it doesn’t, this should improve once Tech plays Baylor and Kansas)
Given how important the Big 12 tournament could be for Texas Tech’s NCAA tournament chances, I think it’s fair to look ahead at who the Red Raiders might play in the first round. The Big 12 tournament is formatted so that the top six seeds get a first round bye, and the bottom four teams play each other so that the two winners complete a field of eight for the second round.
Tech (9-7) currently has a one game cushion on third place over Oklahoma and Texas (both 8-8). West Virginia and TCU both sit at 7-9. Let’s assume that TCU loses to Kansas in Lawrence on Wednesday, and collect their 10th conference loss of the season. That would solidify that Tech – even if it loses to both Kansas and Baylor – could finish no worse than sixth in the Big 12 and would receive a bye in the Big 12 tournament.
Tech can also finish no better than third place. Texas and Oklahoma play each other this week, so the standings between third place and sixth have nearly endless possibilities. Pay attention to how things shake out. Texas Tech will very likely play Texas, Oklahoma, or West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 tournament in what could be a do-or-die matchup for both teams involved.
I’m not sure who I’d rather Tech face in that scenario. West Virginia is reeling but is perceived to be the best of the three, while Oklahoma and Texas would also be fighting for their postseason lives and have both beaten Tech recently. Yikes.
Here’s to hoping all the worry is wasted and that Tech is victorious in Waco tonight. Next week’s post will be more of a bubble analysis and Big 12 tournament outlook.