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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.
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