Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders that have to step up in the postseason

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LUBBOCK, TEXAS – MARCH 07: The Texas Tech Red Raiders, (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

March is here and if the Texas Tech basketball team is going to have another successful postseason run, these players have to take their game to a new level.

When the Texas Tech basketball team takes the floor Thursday in Kansas City against Texas, many believe that the winner of that game will punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.  Meanwhile, the loser will be left to sweat it out until Selection Sunday.

The reality is that the Texas Tech basketball team’s current four-game losing streak has put everyone in Scarlet and Black in a position we never expected to be in…closely watching bubbles and holding our breath.  But the good news is that Tech controls its own future and that’s all Chris Beard can ask for.

But when asked about what his team needs to do to ensure it gets an invite to the Big Dance, Beard remained dedicated to the process that has carried him from being a basketball vagabond to the heights of the college coaching profession.

“…I just go one day at a time,” Beard said following Saturday’s loss to Kansas.  “So what we’ll try to do is win the rest of the day in terms of preparation and learning from this…That’s just the way I’ve always done it.”

The way he’s done it since arriving in 2016 has made him the most successful coach in the nation in March over the last two years.  With eight NCAA Tournament wins combined, the Red Raider head coach has earned his stripes on the game’s biggest stage.

Now, Tech fans hope that Beard’s March procedures pay dividends in the Big 12 Tournament because a strong showing this week is likely the key to reaching the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year, something Texas Tech has never accomplished.

“I think we’re going to be a factor in Kansas City,” Beard said.  “I think we’re good enough to win the tournament and that will be our objective.”

That’s going to be a tall task.  In order to bring home the program’s first Big 12 Tournament title and claim the league’s automatic bid to the Tournament, Tech is likely going to have to beat Texas, Kansas, and Baylor on consecutive days.  Against those three teams this year, the Red Raiders were just 1-5.

That’s not to say that the Red Raiders have no shot.  After all, their average margin of defeat in the four games against Kansas and Baylor, the top two teams in the conference, was just 3.7 points.  What’s more, it is March, which almost always means upsets somewhere around the nation and perhaps this is the year that chaos in the Big 12 benefits the Red Raiders.

So let’s look at which Red Raiders need to take their game to a higher level in Kansas City and hopefully beyond.  If these three players can elevate their play, this could be another fun March for Red Raider fans.

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