After a dominant revenge performance against TCU, Tech dropped one in Stillwater last week. It was by no means a great loss (is there such a thing?), but I think some are overstating how bad it was. Tech was a three point favorite. And while there is a big gap in the win column between the two teams, Oklahoma State has a talented roster and a Big 12 road game is never a cake walk.
It won’t help Tech’s resume when it comes time for NCAA tournament seeding, but those saying it knocked Tech from solidly in the tournament to on the bubble are wrong. Tech was a 7 seed according to the Bracket Matrix before the game and are an 8 seed now. Let’s dive into the analytics…
ESPN Basketball Power Index
|Opponent||Chance to Win (%)|
|@ Iowa St||61.5|
|National Rank||Team||KenPom Rating|
|National Rank||Team||Sagarin Rating|
- Texas Tech 69.7, Kansas State 55.3
- Texas Tech 74.6, Iowa State 67.5
- NET ranking: 21
- Bracket Matrix seed: 8 (same as last week)
- RPI: 54
- Best wins: Louisville, West Virginia
- Worst losses: TCU, DePaul, Oklahoma State
Despite the loss to Oklahoma State, most of these metrics are holding steady or trending up compared to last week. In other words, the blowout win against TCU appears to have outweighed the close loss in Stillwater.
- BPI: Up seven spots nationally for the second week in a row
- KenPom: Up four spots nationally this week (up 10 last week)
- Sagarin: Down two spots this week after a being up 21 the week before
- NET: Up four spots from last week
My Two Cents
I don’t buy that Texas Tech is on the bubble. All the evidence seems to point away from that theory. Another loss this week could move us closer to that territory, but I don’t think the sky is falling yet. The Red Raiders’ resume could be significantly bolstered by another quality win (or more). That won’t come this week, but keep an eye on Oklahoma, Baylor, and Kansas to end the season. A win against one of those (especially Baylor in Waco) would be significant.
As far as seeding goes, a lot can change. I think Tech’s realistic ceiling is a 5 seed, and realistic floor is an 11. So that’s plus or minus three spots from where they stand today. Practically speaking, we probably want to see them avoid the 8 or 9 line, as that would pair Tech with a 1 seed (or UMBC) in the second round should they advance. Then again, if Tech were to wind up in the same region as likely 1 seeds Kansas or Baylor, maybe the Red Raiders would be comfortable playing a team for at least the third time (as they could also play in the Big 12 tournament) in the second round instead of an unfamiliar 2 or 3 seed.
Anyway, it’s all speculation and a lot can change. There are still six regular season games plus the conference tournament to sort everything out. That means Tech is likely to play another eight or nine games before the NCAA tournament, which is plenty of time to keep making strides toward being competitive in March.
If the sky fell after the Oklahoma State loss, I didn’t notice. And I bet Chris Beard didn’t either. In Beard we trust. Wreck ’em!