Texas Tech basketball gets tough draw in first round of NCAA Tournament with No. 11 seed NC State

The path through the NCAA Tournament looks daunting for the Texas Tech basketball team with a big and hot NC State team awaiting in the first round.

Texas Tech's mens basketball team reacts to their seed and opponent announcement during Selection
Texas Tech's mens basketball team reacts to their seed and opponent announcement during Selection / Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY

Sunday, the Texas Tech basketball team learned what its path through the NCAA Tournament looks like. Unfortunately, it isn't going to be a walk in the park.

Where the Texas Tech basketball team is seeded

The Red Raiders are headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they will be the No. 6 seed in the South Region. There, the Red Raiders will open the tournament with the No. 11-seeded NC State Wolfpack.

This is a fair seeding for the Red Raiders but after finishing tied for third in the Big 12 regular season and reaching the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, many had hoped Tech had played its way to a No. 5 seed. In fact, Kansas, which Tech beat by 29 points and finished sixth in the Big 12 regular season before failing to win a game in Kansas City earned a No. 4 seed. What's more, Tech didn't get a higher seed than BYU, a team that Grant McCasland's bunch swept in two games this year.

In fact, you could say that Tech got a worse draw than BYU given that the Cougars will be facing Duquesne in the first round, not a Power 6 conference tournament champion. What's more, of the four No. 6 seeds, Tech has by far the toughest first-round matchup.

NC State could be a bad matchup for Texas Tech

The NCAA Tournament is all about matchups and this is not a good one for Texas Tech. In fact, expect NC State to be an overwhelmingly trendy pick to win this game.

That's because the Wolfpack is one of the hottest teams in the country after having just won five games in five days to win the ACC Tournament. During that run, they beat such teams as No. 11 Duke, NCAA Tournament team Virginia, and No. 4 North Carolina.

Also, from a personnel standpoint, NC State could be a nightmare for the Red Raiders. That's because one of the new national obsessions, D.J. Burns, plays for the Wolfpack.

A 6-foot-9, 275-pound bowling ball with the feet of a ballerina, he averages 12.4 points 4.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. In his last outing, he posted 20 points, four rebounds, and seven assists against the Tar Heels, and in the ACC Tournament, he averaged 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.

He is going to be a nightmare matchup for a Texas Tech squad that is undersized when fully healthy but also doesn't know if 7-foot center Warren Washington will be able to play due to a foot injury that has kept him out for the past month. What's more, NC State has another impact big man for Tech to deal with.

Mohammed Diarra, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward averages 6.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game. He's athletic, pesky, and intense for the Wolfpack and he can change a game with his ability to rebound the basketball and impact shots around the rim.

That inside duo will stress a Red Raider team that will be undermanned in the post even if Washington does play. That's because, after a month away from the court, Washington can't be expected to be at 100% in terms of conditioning and effectiveness regardless of how good his foot feels later this week.

Now, not all is lost for the Red Raiders. NC State is far from a perfect team. In fact, they were just 17-14 in the regular season. Also, a five-game run in five days could take a lot out of a team's legs.

Thus, the Red Raiders are still going to have a shot to pull this game out. After all, NC State doesn't have the type of resume that Tech does and the ACC was nowhere near the caliber of conference that the Big 12 was this season.

Still, this is not an ideal matchup for the Red Raiders. Rather, it is one that should have every fan on pins and needles because NC State is rolling right now and they present a ton of problems that McCasland and Co. will have to contend with.