Texas Tech Basketball A No. 3 Seed In NCAA Rankings Preview

LUBBOCK, TX - FEBRUARY 07: Zhaire Smith
LUBBOCK, TX - FEBRUARY 07: Zhaire Smith /

The NCAA Tournament selection committee released its current top 16 rankings Sunday and Texas Tech checks in at No. 10 overall, good for a No. 3 seed.

For the first time in program history, the Texas Tech men’s basketball team was included in the sneak peak of the NCAA selection committee rankings.  Texas Tech currently sits at 10th overall and is slated as a No. 3 seed in the East bracket.

These rankings are nothing more than a ploy to generate fan interest and make headlines in an attempt to grab a piece of the nation’s post-Super Bowl sporting attention.  However, they do give an idea of what the committee thinks of the top 16 teams.

And may Red Raider fans feel that their team is being overlooked.  Fans are excited to simply be part of the top 16 after what can be described as a miserable decade of Texas Tech basketball that only began to improve three years ago.

However, it is difficult for some to see the Kansas Jayhawks ranked at No. 6 overall and being penciled in as a No. 2 seed when the Red Raiders sit a game ahead of KU in the Big 12 standings, have won two more games overall and own a road win over Kansas.

Is this a case of disrespect in which the NCAA is favoring a blue-blood basketball program?  Perhaps.  However, the Jayhawks resume is currently a bit stronger than Texas Tech’s.

Kansas’ strength of schedule is No. 1 in the NCAA, while Techs is 55th.  Furthermore, the Jayhawks  non-conference schedule ranks as ninth toughest while Texas Tech’s is far below at No. 195.  Additionally, Kansas has seven wins over teams in the top 50 of the RPI rankings, two more than does Tech.

And if those statistics are not enough to quell cries of disrespect from those in scarlet and black, Red Raider mans must also consider that these rankings are incomplete.  There still remains six games in the regular season and a Big 12 tournament to be played.

If Texas Tech beats Kansas in Lubbock, wins the Big 12 regular season title and has a strong showing in the conference tournament (or wins it) there is every reason to think that Tech will see its standing with the selection committee rise.

Also, fans should consider what is really important in terms of seeding and the NCAA tournament. The committee gives geographical preference to teams depending on how they are ranked overall in the field of 68 teams.

In other words, the four No. 1 seeds are the teams ranked 1-4 overall.  The No. 1 overall seed will get to play in the geographic region most convenient to it where it should have the most fans.  While the lowest ranked-No. 1 seed will forfeit geographic preference for the right to be a No. 1 seed.

Thus, it would be more advantageous for Texas Tech to be the top No. 3 seed and be placed in the South region where it would likely play its first and second round games in Dallas rather than be the lowest No. 2 seed and be placed in the East.  Fans should be hoping that Tech winds up playing in the city that is home to its second-largest alumni base rather than being ranked as high as possible.

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Therefore, as these rankings are periodically released, fans should not become too swept up in calls for Texas Tech to be respected as a seed that mirrors its ranking.  It is far more important for the team to wind up in a location that gives the Red Raiders a possible home-court advantage.  Plus, the beauty of the NCAA tournament is that so long as a team is in the field, it has every opportunity to earn the respect it feels it deserves.