Five Reasons Texas Tech Could Reach Final Four

LUBBOCK, TX - February 07: Justin Gray
LUBBOCK, TX - February 07: Justin Gray /
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AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 17: Niem Stevenson
AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 17: Niem Stevenson /

Elite Defense Travels

We’ll skip the old cliche about defense but there is truth to the axiom.  Defense travels.  It is build around nothing but effort, teamwork and communication.

In the NCAA Tournament, offense is often fleeting.  Teams are playing at venues in which they’ve never played before and that can disrupt shooters, for whom comfort and feel are critical.    Offense is mental, defense if physical.  Texas Tech will play elite defense regardless of the venue.

Texas Tech is the best defensive team in the East Region.  The Red Raiders rank 17th in the nation allowing just 64.7 points per game.

By comparison, SFA is the next best defensive team in the region checking in at No. 69 in the nation (68.1 points per game).  West Virginia (69.0) is next at No. 91, Florida (69.4) is No. 99 in the nation while Alabama (70.0) checks in at No. 110.  Villanova (70.9) is No. 141, Wichita State (71.3) is at No. 152 and UCLA (76.3) is all the way down at No. 276.

The East Region favorites, Villanova are one of the most liberal shooting teams in the nation attempting 28.6 threes per game (fifth-most in the nation).  But how many times have we seen a team that relies on the three so heavily stumble as it runs into a team that can defend the perimeter or as it has an off night from the field?

However, it is rare for an elite defensive team to have an off night on that end of the floor.  Teams that defend, do so every night without question because, once again, defense is easily regulated through effort.

Look for the Red Raiders to ride their team defense through the tournament which will keep them in every game.  Tech has no desire to be the Harlem Globetrotters.  Rather, Chris Beard wants his team to put opponents through a grind that will eventually wear them down and cause them to make mistakes.