The rematch between No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 14 Texas certainly has a tough act to follow after the Red Raiders won an instant classic in the first meeting back on Jan. 13. Texas Tech rallied from a 12-point deficit to win that game 79-77, courtesy of a late 3-pointer from Mac McClung, to hand the Longhorns just their second loss of the season.
Back then, Texas (14-6, 8-5 Big 12) was in the midst of a four-week stretch in the top-five of the AP poll before hitting issues with COVID-19 that contributed to a three-game losing streak that dropped it from Big 12 title contention. The win also signified the high-water mark of Texas Tech's season as the Red Raiders (14-8, 6-7 Big 12) have lost five of eight games since, including three straight.
But as these in-state rivals prepare to meet again, both are still harboring serious postseason ambitions and hoping to use their final regular season games to get things right before the Big 12 Tournament. Texas Tech enters as a projected No. 6 seed for the NCAA Tournament in Jerry Palm's latest Bracketology, while Texas enters as a projected No. 4 seed.
Then there's the matter of conference tournament seeding. The Red Raiders would be one of the four teams required to play in the event's first round if the season ended today and need a strong finish to secure a first-round bye.
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- When: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
- Where: United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas
- TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
- OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)
Texas: Texas buckled down defensively in the second half on Tuesday to notch a crucial overtime win over Kansas following a disastrous loss to West Virginia last Saturday. Frustration between junior guards Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones boiled over into a public spat in the WVU loss and led into a late collapse in the defeat that raised questions about Texas' team chemistry. Despite a poor shooting night from both Ramey and Jones, the Longhorns rebounded from their spat and found a way to emerge from a double-digit deficit to complete a season sweep over the Jayhawks. The Longhorns dealt with myriad issues related to COVID-19 following their 10-1 start, including a stretch of four losses in five games. But even with the Ramey-Jones dispute casting a pall over things, Texas has now won three of its last four and appears to have the right mix of experience and talented youth (see five-star freshman forward Greg Brown) to be a threat in the postseason.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are getting a reminder of just how tough the Big 12 is at the moment while navigating a stretch of four straight games against league opponents that appear destined to make the NCAA Tournament. Some reprieve is ahead next week with games a pair of the league's non-NCAA Tournament contenders in TCU and Iowa State. But first, this team will try and stop its losing streak at three by completing a season sweep against Texas. Getting things right may be as simple as hitting some more outside shots for the Red Raiders, who have made just five 3-pointers in each their past three games. This squad has also slipped a bit defensively from some of its stalwart predecessors under fifth-year coach Chris Beard.
Game prediction, pick
Texas showed its resiliency in a big win against Kansas Tuesday, proving that the public dustup between Ramey and Jones shouldn't be a lingering issue. The Longhorns might be regaining their stride and will get revenge for their earlier loss to Texas Tech Prediction: Texas 80, Texas Tech 76
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