Texas Tech basketball moves up in polls after 2-0 week

After a 2-0 week in which neither win was impressive, the Texas Tech basketball team saw its ranking rise in both national polls.

Monday, the Texas Tech basketball team saw its ranking rise in both national polls after beating Southern Miss and UT Rio Grande Valley last week.  And given that neither of those wins was a work of art, even an incremental jump in the polls has to be considered a nice development.

The Red Raiders moved up one spot to No. 23 in the A.P. poll and three spots to No. 22 in the Coaches Poll.  This makes it two-straight weeks back in the rankings for Chris Beard and his team after they fell from No. 11 to unranked following back-to-back losses at the Las Vegas Invitational Thanksgiving weekend.

Of course, the win over No. 1 Louisville brought the Red Raiders back into the national rankings and this week, more change took place atop the polls thanks to a loss to No. 18 Villanova by No. 1 Kansas on Saturday.  The nation’s new top team is Gonzaga, who Tech fans remember as the team the Red Raiders beat in Anaheim to advance to the program’s first-ever Final Four this spring.

In both polls, Ohio State is No. 2 while in the A.P. poll, Louisville is No. 3 and Duke is No. 4.  In the Coaches Poll, the Cardinals and Blue Devils are flip-flopped.  Kansas fell to No. 5 in both polls after their one-point defeat in Philadelphia.

The Baylor Bears are solidly in the top 10 at No. 7 in the A.P. and No. 6 in the Coaches Poll.  Riding an eight-game winning streak, Scott Drew’s team jumped three spots in the A.P. poll and five in the Coaches.

West Virginia is the only other Big 12 team in this week’s rankings.  Sitting at No. 22 in the A.P. and No. 23 in the Coaches Poll, the Mountaineers are right next to the Red Raiders in both sets of rankings.

What really surprised was the fact that no other Big 12 teams received votes this week.  That suggests this conference may not be as tough this year as we have come to know it.

It appears that there is some strength at the top with two top 10 teams (but keep in mind that Baylor’s best win this year is over an Arizona team that is now just No. 24 in both polls).  However, the second-tier of the league might not be as daunting as it normally is.

Including Tech, six teams in this league have already suffered three losses.  Much of that can be attributed to the beating the conference took in the Big 12 / Big East Battle.

Meanwhile, one of the two-loss teams, Texas, has been humiliated by a pair of Big East teams.  On November 21st, the Horns lost to Georgetown 82-66 and on Saturday, they were dismantled by Providence 70-48.  Keep in mind that Providence is just 7-6 on the season.

What this means is that the Red Raiders may be primed to make another run at the Big 12 title.  Now that Jahmi’us Ramsey is back from his hamstring injury and players like Chris Clarke and Terrence Shannon Jr. are figuring out their roles, Tech looks like it could be a team on the rise.  But for that rise to pick up significant momentum, Beard is going to have to get his team to look better than it did last week against two bad teams.