Texas Tech basketball at UCF: How to watch, game notes, and prediction

Here is all the info you need to get ready for Saturday's Texas Tech basketball game at UCF.

UCF v Texas Tech
UCF v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Saturday, the Texas Tech basketball team could be facing a potential trap game. Stuck in between home games against in-state rivals TCU and Texas is a tricky road trip to Orlando, Florida to face the UCF Knights.

On paper, this is a game Tech should win. UCF is just 4-9 in Big 12 play and has lost four games in a row. What's more, Tech could be getting big man Warren Washington back after a two-game absence due to a foot injury.

However, UCF will likely be the more desperate team. The Knights know that they have to start stacking up the wins if they hope to have any shot at getting into the NCAA Tournament discussion.

What will the home team bring to the court, though? Has their current losing streak robbed them of the will to compete at the level required to win Big 12 games? Or, do they still have the fight needed to grind out a win over the Red Raiders?

Two weeks ago, UCF put a scare into Tech in Lubbock. In the 66-59 Red Raider win, the two teams traded punches all afternoon as the game went down to the wire before Tech put it in the win column.

One difference in the rematch should be that UCF's explosive big man, Ibrahima Diallo, will be in action this time around. In Lubbock, he did not play which was crucial as he averages 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. Without him in the lineup, Washington had a strong game putting up 10 points and 11 rebounds. Now, we wait to see if Tech will have its dynamic center available as the two teams meet again.

Texas Tech at UCF: Broadcast info

Matchup: No. 23 Texas Tech (19-7, 8-5) at UCF (13-12, 4-9)
Location: Orlando, Florida
Venue: Addition Financial Arena
Tip: 3 p.m. (CST), Saturday, February 24, 2024
TV CALL: Chuckie Kempf (play-by-play), Bryndon Manzer (analyst)
RADIO (Texas Tech Sports Network): 97.3 Double T FM
RADIO CALL: Geoff Haxton (play-by-play), Chris Level (analyst)

Texas Tech at UCF: Game notes

(All game notes courtesy of TexasTech.com)

SERIES HISTORY: Tech leads 1-0
IN ORLANDO: First meeting
LAST MATCHUP: Tech won 66-59 (Feb. 10)

Tech plays at UCF for the first time in program history with the Knights joining the Big 12
this season... Tech won in Lubbock with DarrionnWilliams leading with 13 points and 13 rebounds
to begin a streak of 3 straight double-doubles...Kerwin Walton added 12 points with four 3-pointers, while Joe Toussaint had 11 points, and Warren Washington had 11 rebounds and 10 points

The Red Raiders (19-7, 8-5 Big 12) are now one win away from reaching the 20-win milestone for the 17th time in 99 seasons of program history.

Tech is currently ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 and USA TODAY Coaches Poll along with being at No. 25 in Kenpom and No. 28 in the NCAA NET Rankings going into its first trip to the UCF campus. The Red Raiders are 2-4 on the road in Big 12 play with wins at Texas and Oklahoma. Tech will return from Florida to host Texas at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at United Supermarkets Arena.

Tech has held three Big 12 opponents below 60 points this season with its 60-59 win over Kansas State, 66-59 win over UCF, and the 79-50 victory over Kansas.

Texas Tech has now won four games when trailing by double digits in the second half of games… The
biggest comeback came after it trailed by as many as 17 points against BYU. That followed the team fighting back from an 11-point halftime deficit against Kansas State for a win and a nine-point hole in the second half at Oklahoma to give them three second-half comebacks in Big 12 play where they were down at least nine points…This season, Tech trailed UNI by as much as 15, Kansas State by 12, BYU by 17, and were down 10 against TCU at home in games the Red Raiders have fought back and won

Darrion Williams was named the Associated Press National Player of the Week on February 20 for his historic performance against Kansas where he was 12-for-12 from the field, 4-for-4 on 3-pointers, and added 11 rebounds in the 79-50 win on February 12.

Texas Tech at UCF: Prediction

It is hard not to look at this game as anything other than a trap for Texas Tech. Hopefully, Tuesday's emotional comeback against TCU didn't take too much out of the Red Raiders because an ambush could be waiting for them in Orlando.

UCF isn't the easiest matchup for the smallish Red Raider team. The Knights are long, athletic, and physical, traits that gave Tech some fits in the game in Lubbock two weeks ago.

Now, UCF will have their starting center and defensive backbone, Diallo, back in the mix, and that makes them a different tiger to tangle with. However, that hasn't mattered in recent games.

Since playing in Lubbock, UCF has fallen to BYU, Cincinnatti, and West Virginia with only the Cincy game being played in Orlando. In fact, three of their last four games have been played on the road.

Will the UCF faithful show up to support their struggling team? If so, Orlando can be a tough place to play as the Knights have home wins over Kansas and Oklahoma this season.

Regardless, I think Tech will find a way to win this game. The momentum from the win over TCU should give the Red Raiders a boost here and hopefully, Pop Isaacs' 19-point effort against the Frogs will get him out of his recent slump. Also, I am hopeful that Warren Washington will play in this game, which would be a huge boost for Tech.

In the end, UCF is still a below-average team when it comes to shooting and scoring the ball. If Tech can have just a normal shooting day by its standards, then there should be enough offense for the Red Raiders to pull out a close win.

Final Score: Texas Tech 71 - UCF 67