Texas Tech basketball's three Achilles' heels heading into March Madness

These Achilles' heels could spell trouble for the Texas Tech basketball team in March.

Texas Tech v Iowa State
Texas Tech v Iowa State / David Purdy/GettyImages
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The Texas Tech basketball team is gearing up for March. Hopefully, it will be another long spring run for a program that has recently become accustomed to playing in the second weekend of the tournament.

The NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. From then until 2017, Tech reached the Sweet 16 (the second weekend of the tournament) only twice; 1996 and 2005. But since 2018, the Red Raiders have made it that far three times; 2018, 2019, and 2022.

Whether or not Grant McCasland can get his team to do that in 2024 is going to depend quite a bit on the draw that Tech gets in the Big Dance. It also may depend on how well this team can cover its flaws. So let's take a look at three Achilles' heels that may spell doom for Texas Tech in the postseason.

Texas Tech lacks quality depth

In March, a team's depth is often tested. That's because teams have to play multiple games on consecutive days in the conference tournaments and get only one day of rest between NCAA Tournament games each weekend. Thus, it is worth wondering if this team will have the legs to make a deep run, especially if one of its postseason games goes into overtime.

But depth isn't only about conditioning. It is also tested when teams get into foul trouble.

This past Saturday against Baylor, we saw what that might look like. In the first half of that game, guard Pop Isaacs and forwards Darrion Williams and Robert Jennings all collected three fouls. What's more, each had his fourth foul halfway through the second half.

As a result, McCasland had to go deep into his bench. There was even one stretch where he played five guards with 6-foot-4 Kerwin Walton as his biggest player on the floor.

It was when Jennings and Isaacs were on the bench with four fouls that Baylor made it's second-half run and took a brief one-point lead after trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half. That was due in large part to the fact that McCasland had no choice but to play true freshman Eemile Yalaho and sophomore guard Lamar Washington at the same time meaning Tech had two offensive liabilities on the floor at the same time.

The simple reality is that Tech can't absorb fouls the way some other teams might be able to. Jennings fouled out against Baylor forcing the 6-foot-7 Yalaho to close out the game as Tech's "big man" and though the Red Raiders survived that game, that's not a formula they want to follow on a regular basis in March.

The good news is that games in the NCAA Tournament aren't typically played as physically nor called as closely as games in the Big 12 are. Still, if Tech finds itself in foul trouble, then things might get away from McCasland and his bunch.