It was not the prettiest game in the history of Division I men's basketball. The two teams combined to take 98 shots and missed 64 of them. They combined for 33 turnovers and just 34 made baskets. It was low-scoring and ugly — evidence being that both Iowa State and Texas Tech were still in the 30s with less than four minutes remaining.
But, don't ever forget, low-scoring and ugly wins are still … wins. They count just the same. So, I promise you, Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger went to bed pleased late Wednesday after that 51-47 victory over Texas Tech. Incredibly, his Cyclones are now 13-1 after the program won just two games total last season under the previous staff.
"I am proud of our guys," Otzelberger told reporters afterward. "it's tough to win games in this league; it's the best league in America. We're going to find a way every night to be a tough, scrappy team, and come away with whatever equation we need to win that game."
Sounds reasonable to me.
The loss — a loss in which its opponent only made three field goals in the second half and still won — dropped Texas Tech to 10-3 overall, just 4-3 in its past seven games. You might notice I've dropped the Red Raiders significantly in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1, not because there's anything embarrassing about losing at Iowa State, but because the body of work, at this point, clearly lacks substance relative to most of the other schools in the Top 25 And 1.
Texas Tech is now just 1-3 in Quadrant 1 opportunities — and 80% of the Red Raiders' wins have come in Quadrant 4 games. Nine of their 10 victories are against sub-190 KenPom.com schools. Consequently, Texas Tech is down to 26th in the NET and 26th at BartTorvik.com (when you remove all preseason biases). Additionally, the Red Raiders' strength of record ranks 33rd nationally. So I've moved Mark Adams' team down to 25th in the Top 25 And 1. But the good news is that Texas Tech has two massive opportunities to improve its resume on deck. On Saturday, the Red Raiders will host Kansas. After that, they have a game Tuesday at Baylor. A split would be great. Two losses would add questions and drop Texas Tech to 0-3 in the Big 12.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|James Akinjo finished with 27 points and five assists in Tuesday's 84-74 win over Oklahoma. The Bears' next game is Saturday at TCU.||--||15-2|
|Paolo Banchero finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 69-57 win over Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils' next game is Saturday against Miami.||--||14-2|
|Jamie Jaquez finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 67-56 win at Marquette on Dec. 11. The Bruins are currently on a COVID pause.||--||11-2|
|Julian Strawther finished with 15 points and four rebounds in Tuesday's 93-63 win over North Alabama. The Zags are currently on a COVID pause.||--||14-2|
|David McCormack finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds in Tuesday's 74-63 win at Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday at Texas Tech.||--||14-2|
|Max Christie finished with 21 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 79-67 win over Nebraska. The Spartans' next game is Saturday at Michigan.||--||14-3|
|Walker Kessler finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday's 81-66 win at South Carolina. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Florida.||--||16-1|
|Boogie Ellis finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech on Dec. 18. The Trojans are currently on a COVID pause.||--||14-2|
|Izaiah Brockington finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in Wednesday's 51-47 win over Texas Tech. The Cyclones' next game is Saturday at Oklahoma.||--||14-3|
|Johnny Davis finished with 37 points and 14 rebounds in Monday's 74-69 win at Purdue. The Badgers' next game is Thursday against Iowa.||--||14-2|
|Trevion Williams was held to single-digits in points for the second straight outing in Monday's 74-69 loss to Wisconsin. The Boilermakers' next game is Saturday at Penn State.||--||15-2|
|Josh Carlton finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's 83-66 win st South Florida. The Cougars' next game is Saturday against Wichita State.||--||15-2|
|Bennedict Mathurin finished with 27 points and six rebounds in Monday's 95-79 win over Washington. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against Colorado.||1||14-1|
|Malaki Branham finished with 35 points and six rebounds in Sunday's 87-79 overtime win at Nebraska. The Buckeyes' next game is Thursday at Indiana.||1||11-4|
|Justin Moore finished with 22 points and foour rebounds in Wednesday's 75-41 win over Creighton. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday at DePaul.||5||13-4|
|Santiago Vescovi finished with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's 66-60 overtime win over Ole Miss. The Vols' next game is Saturdy at LSU.||--||11-5|
|Tari Eason finished with 13 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 65-60 win over Kentucky. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Tennessee.||--||15-2|
|Marcus Carr finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Tuesday's 70-57 win at Kansas State. The Longhorns' next game is Saturday at Oklahoma State.||--||13-4|
|David Roddy finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday's 67-59 win over Air Force. The Rams' next game is Friday at Boise State.||--||13-1|
|Juwan Gary finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 83-70 win at Florida. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday at Missouri.||4||11-6|
|Xavier missed 17 of the 23 3-pointers it attempted in a 71-58 loss at Villanova on Dec. 21. The Musketeers' next game is Friday at Butler.||--||13-3|
|Jared Rhoden finished with 17 points and four rebounds in Tuesday's 71-56 win at Butler. The Pirates' next game is Saturday against UConn.||--||11-5|
|Kentucky lost Sahvir Wheeler to an injury early in Tuesday's 65-60 loss at LSU. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Georgia.||--||14-3|
|The Providence starters shot just 28.6% from the field in Tuesday's 88-56 loss at Marquette. The Friars' next game is Saturday against St. John's.||1||14-2|
|Texas Tech missed 14 of the 17 3-pointers it attempted in Wednesday's 51-47 loss at Iowa State. The Red Raiders' next game is||12||13-4|
|Braden Norris scored 18 points and finished with nine assists in a 69-58 victory at Vanderbilt on Dec. 10. The Ramblers are currently on a COVID pause.||--||13-2|