Today, the Texas Tech basketball team will face Baylor in another top-15 showdown and these individual matchups will be of critical importance.
There was little time for the Texas Tech basketball team to revel in Wednesday’s victory over No. 4 Texas as today brings No. 2 Baylor to Lubbock. But that’s life in the Big 12.
So far, the Bears are 11-0 on the season but I’m not so sure that we know exactly how good they are. This isn’t to suggest they are overrated. After all, they’ve been as impressive as any team in the nation.
However, they have been tested by a ranked opponent just once this year. Granted, they passed that test with flying colors in an 82-69 victory over No. 5 Illinois.
But since then, their three scheduled games against ranked opponents have been canceled. That includes a showdown with No. 1 Gonzaga and Big 12 games against then-No. 13 Texas and current No. 13 West Virginia. Thus, outside of the win against the Illini, Baylor’s best victory has been either their 15-point win at home against OU or their 18-point win at TCU.
Again, the point here is not to put down the Bears and what they’ve done this year but rather to point out that they may not be as invincible as many in the national media are making them out to be. We simply don’t know just how good they are because they’ve faced just one quality opponent.
Even in Big 12 play, they’ve yet to face a team in the top five of the league standings. But that changes this afternoon.
This will be meeting No. 141 all-time in this series. Currently, Tech holds an 80-60 advantage including a 46-20 edge in Lubbock.
Baylor enters this game riding a two-game win streak over Tech after sweeping last season’s contests. But though the Bears were also a top-5 team a season ago, they didn’t necessarily dominate the Red Raiders as they collected their two wins by a total of eight points with the game in Waco being decided in overtime.
Most of the familiar names from that Baylor team are back and that makes them one of the most experienced and cohesive programs in the nation. But though those adjectives may not apply as strongly to the Red Raiders right now, the fact that we are coming off of a game that saw Tech beat another team in the Longhorns that returned virtually everyone from a year ago is proof that Chris Beard’s team is playing well enough to take down anyone.
This is a huge opportunity for Tech to open some eyes around the nation. The Red Raiders would likely vault into the top-10 of the national rankings with a win today and it would put them just a game behind Baylor in the conference race.
So to get an idea of what we might be in store for today, let’s go inside the individual matchups that will likely tell the tale of this game. And let’s begin by looking at the showdown between Tech’s best scorer and Baylor’s best defender.