Texas Tech basketball gets underwhelming opponent in Big 12-Big East Battle

Facing DePaul in the 2024 Big 12-Big East battle is an underwhelming development for the Texas Tech basketball program.
DePaul v Xavier
DePaul v Xavier / Porter Binks/GettyImages

Maybe it is best for the Texas Tech basketball program that the Big 12 - Big East Battle will end after the upcoming 2024-25 season. After all, that made-up early-season event has done nothing to help the Red Raiders as a program.

That trend will continue in 2024 as the Big East is sending another underwhelming opponent to Lubbock, DePaul. Forgive us if we can't help but yawn at the thought of that matchup.

Last season, the Blue Demons were one of the worst programs in the nation. Going just 3-29 overall, they were 0-20 in Big East play.

That means that the Big East is sending its worst program to Lubbock. That's a slap in the face to a program of Texas Tech's caliber.

It's a continuation of disrespect toward the Red Raiders in this event. First of all, Tech has only hosted this event once in the five years of its existence.

In 2020, year two of the event, St. John's backed out of coming to Lubbock amid COVID-19 fears. In 2022, the Red Raiders hosted Georgetown, another downtrodden Big East program that had no pulse when it came to United Supermarkets Arena.

It is worth noting that in 2020-21, St. John's went just 16-11 overall. Meanwhile, in 2022-23, Georgetown was just 7-25. In other words, the Big East has never been willing to send one of its top-flight or even decent programs to Lubbock for this event.

Now, it is fair to wonder if DePaul will be an opponent that will be of any value to the Red Raiders' resume next year. The Blue Demons are undergoing a massive rebuild starting with the hiring of new head coach Chris Holtmann.

The former head coach at Butler and Ohio State, Holtmann has a career head coaching record of 251-170. In February, he was fired by the Buckeyes in the middle of his seventh season on the job after his team compiled a meager 4-10 record in Big Ten games.

It will be a stretch to imagine DePaul transforming itself from being one of the worst programs in America to a respectable opponent for Tech in just one offseason, especially as it transitions to a new coaching staff. Thus, this game isn't likely to be one that helps the Red Raiders in regard to their NCAA Tournament aspirations.

Tech desperately needs to improve its non-conference strength of schedule in Grant McCasland's second season in Lubbock. Last season's net out of conference strength of schedule was just no. 331 in the nation and that is unacceptable.

The event with the Big East conference is supposed to do just that for Big 12 teams. For instance, Baylor will get its shot at playing UCONN. Kansas will play Creighton. Iowa State will host Marquette. Meanwhile, Texas Tech, which finished tied for third in the regular-season Big 12 race this past season, will play a team coming off of a three-win season. That makes no sense.

What's more, this is a repeat matchup from the first Big 12 - Big East battle. In 2019, the Red Raiders lost 65-60 at DePaul in overtime meaning that this isn't even a new or novel pairing of teams.

In all, the Red Raiders are just 1-3 in this event with the lone win being their only home game during that time. That will probably change in 2024 but will that win have a significant impact on what McCasland and his program hope to accomplish next season? Likely not.