Texas Tech Can Win as the Underdog, But Can It Win as the Favorite?
There's something to be said about the last week of Texas Tech basketball. In fact, there's a lot of things to be said. Most of it has already been said on social media and both local and national media outlets. We said a few things on Ryan Hyatt's Raiderland today about Texas Tech Basketball. You can listen to that here:
Most, if not all, of what's been said about Texas Tech basketball and Head Coach Mark Adams has been positive. The team went to Iowa State and lost by four with only seven available players, with just three of the guys that started the season as starters. Then, just a few days later, the team beat Kansas in Lubbock without Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon Jr.
That would be a good seven-day stretch, but the boys weren't through. They capped it off Tuesday night with a road victory over the Baylor Bears, who hadn't lost a basketball game since last March.
Big-time underdog wins are nothing new for the Red Raiders, who are the only team in the entire country that has a win over a top-5 team in each of the last seven seasons. That's across three head coaches and dozens of players.
That 2-1 stretch gives Texas Tech a brand new road to a high-seed in the NCAA Tournament -- a distant thought just a couple of weeks ago. Here's the catch, though: Texas Tech has to keep winning for that to happen, and the Big 12 is an absolute gauntlet.
I have no doubt that Texas Tech is better than Oklahoma State, who they play Thursday, and Kansas State, who the team plays on Saturday, but it takes an incredible amount of mental toughness to go on a winning streak in the Big 12. The worst teams in the conference would be competing for conference titles across the land, and that's not even hyperbole.
The analytics show that Kansas State and Oklahoma State, while at the bottom of the Big 12, would be top half teams in the ACC, Pac 12 and SEC, and would be among the best teams in the A10 and Mountain West.
The bottom line: the Red Raiders don't get to enjoy playing underdog spoiler anymore. They'll be playing two more games this week against quality teams that just happen to be at the bottom of the best conference in the country.
Mark Adams has already proven that he can get his team ready as the scrappy underdog. Can he also have his team play like the outright favorite that they'll be the next couple of weeks? I think he can, but only time will tell.