Tonight, the Texas Tech basketball team has a rematch with Oklahoma so let’s look at what needs to change from this year’s first meeting.
After a stunning come from behind win over LSU in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, the Texas Tech basketball team is now set to return to the slugfest that is conference play as the red-hot Oklahoma Sooners come calling tonight in Lubbock.
The last time these teams met, it was the Red Raiders that squeaked out a 69-67 win in Norman. Of course, that game’s most memorable moment came right at the end of the contest as OU’s star point guard Austin Reeves missed a point-blank putback opportunity that would have sent the game to overtime.
Since that win in the second Big 12 game of the year for the Red Raiders, the significance of putting that contest into the win column has grown exponentially. That’s because OU has gone from what most people thought was a fringe NCAA Tournament team to a bonified top-15 caliber squad.
In the weeks since these teams met, the Sooners have collected wins over No. 9 West Virginia, No. 9 Kansas, No. 5 Texas, and No. 9 Alabama. In other words, no team in the nation may be more dangerous right now than Lon Kruger’s bunch.
But Tech might be catching a break in this game. That’s because COVID-19 concerns will force Reeves and senior guard Alondes Williams to miss this evening’s tilt.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Sooners are ripe for the picking. After all, those two players missed Saturday’s game with the Crimson Tide and yet OU still managed to claim an impressive 66-61 win over a Bama team that had won nine consecutive games.
On the other hand, with OU being down two starters and having played a physical and rugged contest just two days ago, fatigue might be a factor this evening. That’s because four of OU’s starters logged at least 30 minutes of action against the Tide. Thus, this quick turnaround might be less than ideal for the short-handed Sooners, especially given that it is a road game.
The ESPN.com matchup predictor gives the Red Raiders a 69.7% shot at pulling this game out. But we all know that Big 12 play is unpredictable and gut-wrenching and we should gather our antacids and anti-anxiety medications and prepare ourselves for another game that could very well come down to the final minute.
So, before another Big 12 cage match tips off, let’s look back at the first rock fight between these two teams and examine exactly what needs to change for the Red Raiders to ensure that they earn a regular-season sweep of the Sooners.