The Texas Tech basketball team is playing its best basketball of the season thus far and that’s leading many to believe that teams around the nation should fear the Red Raiders.
There are some things we can count on every spring in the Lone Star State including bluebonnets, thunderstorms, wind, and at least in the last three years, an improvement in the play of the Texas Tech basketball team. Now, as the days start to grow a bit longer and the calendar begins to lean toward March, Chris Beard seems to have his team picking up steam once again.
Including this year, Tech has gone 17-6 in the February and March portion of the regular season schedule since 2018. Keep in mind that four of those losses came in 2018 when point guard Keenan Evans was dealing with a broken toe.
That late-season success has propelled the Red Raiders to a No. 3 seed in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments. Could another strong end to the regular season be in store this season?
The schedule certainly allows for the possibility. Tech is currently 3-1 this month with the only defeat being a 3-point loss at Kansas.
In the remainder of the regular season, four of the six remaining opponents do not have winning records in Big 12 play. Of those four, only Oklahoma, which Tech will play in Oklahoma City rather than Norman, appears to be a true threat to the Red Raiders.
Certainly, anything can and often does happen in college basketball. But when you consider that the ESPN.com matchup predictor gives Tech at least a 58.4% chance at winning the next four games, there’s good reason to believe that the Red Raiders will be on an upswing when March dawns.
Indeed, it will be that first week of March, the last week of the regular season, that could propel the Red Raiders to another top-4 seed in the Big Dance. That’s because Tech will have two opportunities to knock off top-3 teams (at least as the rankings stand right now).
Winning in Waco and beating Kansas in Lubbock will be no walk in the park. But getting at least one of those games could elevate Tech to a favorable seeding. If somehow the Red Raiders win both, they will grab the attention of the nation and will serve notice that they are again a force to be reckoned with in March.
That sentiment is already starting to permeate the world of the NCAA basketball expert. Many of the game’s most respected minds are telling anyone that will listen that they should not sleep on Beard and his team.
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla recently said that Tech will be seeded lower than they likely deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament. That’s a warning to teams that wind up in the same region.
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That sentiment has been echoed by many of Fraschilla’s colleagues and peers and for good reason. After seeing Tech make an Elite Eight and National Title game run in the last two seasons, the nation is no longer sleeping on what’s happening in Lubbock and teams around the country would rather not see Texas Tech on the schedule. So let’s take a look at what is making the Red Raiders so dangerous all of a sudden.