If you’re familiar with Betteridge’s law of headlines, you probably already figured out where I’m going with this. Currently sitting at 17-11 (5-10), Texas Tech is almost having a fantastic season. This veteran group is capable of knocking off anyone, as evident by their big upset last week. Regardless, Tech has been coming up just short of every opportunity they’ve had to put games away late in the fourth quarter. Seriously, three out of the last four losses have been by one possession. And the kicker, the one game lost by more than one possession was lost in double overtime against #9 West Virginia. As March quickly approaches, there are only three more opportunities for Beard’s squad to prove that they’re force to be reckoned with.
How they could sneak in…
ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan called Texas Tech “the official team of the 2017 Bubble Watch” and Joe Lunardi currently has the Red Raiders in his next four out. This isn’t exactly promising, but at least they’re still in the conversation. This is even after the close lose to Iowa State in OT on Monday. Tech has three more winnable games, two over probable tournament invitees, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Texas Tech needs to win out to bump up their RPI before the Big 12 Tournament. I’m fairly convinced that if Tech can win a couple of games during the conference playoffs, they have a legit chance. People recognize that West Texas moxie.
Why they probably won’t.
Normally teams with RPIs above 80 don’t get invited to the big dance. Especially when said team has a questionable SOS. Right now the Red Raiders are sitting at an RPI of 88 and 113th most difficult strength of schedule. There are just a lot more teams more qualified on paper. And even winning out the remaining conference games wouldn’t be a walk in the park. Oklahoma State is on fire lately, winning eight of their last nine. I’d say they’re more likely to go to the NIT than the tournament right now.
But we’ll find out as the Red Raiders travel to Stillwater this Saturday.