The No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners are on a bit of a skid, having lost three consecutive games and six consecutive road games. Things won’t get any easier on Tuesday night as they face off against the No. 7 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock.
Oklahoma (16-8, 6-6) at Texas Tech (21-4, 9-3): 6 p.m. CT, United Supermarkets Arena (15,098)
Commentary: Bob Wischusen and Fran Fraschilla
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)
Line: Texas Tech -7 (as of 1 p.m. CT)
About Texas Tech
- The Red Raiders currently sit atop the Big 12 standings with a record of 9-3. They’ve claimed a win against eight different Big 12 teams this season. The lone exception? Oklahoma.
- Texas Tech is undefeated at home this season, and the Raiders are also the only Big 12 team to not drop a conference home game this season.
- Texas Tech has been without Zach Smith since the last meeting between these two schools, and the Red Raiders have gone with a bit of a smaller lineup since then. They currently start four guards - Keenan Evans, Zhaire Smith, Justin Gray and Jarrett Culver - and one big man - Norense Odiase.
- Evans leads the way with an average of 18.4 PPG and has reached double figures in 23 of 25 games this season.
- The Red Raiders are third nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive rating and only allow 62 points per contest in 2017-18.
- The Sooners are in for a white-out this evening:
Less than 2️⃣4️⃣ hours until it’s time to hold down the fort again.— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) February 13, 2018
Wear white, be early and be loud. #WreckEm #4To1 pic.twitter.com/zmCD16UyXv
- Road woes - Yes, much of Oklahoma’s ineptitude on the road can be attributed to poor shooting. However, effort has also been lacking in many of its recent games - both home and away - with the Sooners regularly losing loose-ball battles and allowing offensive rebounds to go along with often-lackadaisical defense. OU has the potential to win these types of games, but I think we’d all like to see a bit more fire from this team before any of us will be confident in them actually pulling them off again.
- Blocks record is within reach - Senior Khadeem Lattin currently has 229 career blocks - just one shy of Al Beal’s school record. Lattin recorded seven blocks in the last meeting between these two schools, so I like his chances of eclipsing Beal’s mark tonight.
- Big 12 race - Texas Tech currently has a head-to-head win over Kansas, who plays at Iowa State this evening. The Red Raiders have a chance to potentially give themselves a two game cushion with a win this evening. Oklahoma, on the other hand, could give itself a slight glimmer of hope with a win this evening. They’d probably have to win out and root hope for West Virginia to lose at least two more games and Texas Tech to fall apart in order to claim a conference crown, but the Sooners would put themselves on a path to potentially finish near the top (at least top 4) if it can figure some things out this evening. Here are the current standings.
I’m definitely not picking OU to win tonight, but I think they’ll show a bit of fight and make things interesting against a great team in a tough environment. Also, Trae Young hasn’t been hitting his threes away from home lately, but will he turn that around this evening? I kind of think he will to an extent, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. The Sooners will likely be doomed by a few too many defensive lapses once again.
Texas Tech 86, Oklahoma 80