NCAA Men’s Basketball: Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU (Hilton Coliseum)
Line and Odds: Red Raiders -225, Cyclones +180
Over/Under: 139; Red Raiders -5 (-225)
Texas Tech and Iowa State clash in a Saturday BIG 12 showdown in Ames, Iowa.
The Red Raiders are pushing through to the tournament winning 4 of their last 5 games, including a 69-62 victory against Kansas State Wednesday. On the other hand, Iowa State has lost 3 of their last 5 games, including 91-71 loss against Kansas Monday.
Texas Tech Making The Right Strides To The Tournament
The Red Raiders are playing exceptional basketball that’s boosting their chances of making the NCAA tournament. Conference wise they are 8-5, beating rival opponents like TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Texas this season.
What’s been the trend in Texas Tech’s dominance is its ability to dominate on the defensive end. They have limited their opponents to no more than 70 points in their last five games. They are also limiting their opponents to low shooting rates, especially at the three-point line. Texas Tech held Kansas State to just 23.5% three-point shooting in their victory.
Freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey is the player to look out for in this matchup. Not only is he Texas Tech’s scoring leader, but when the Red Raiders went against the Cyclone in January, Ramsey only scored 7 points in 32 minutes. There’s no doubt that this time, Ramsey will be playing with his heart on his sleeve.
Iowa State Struggling in Conference Play
Unlike Texas Tech, Iowa State has struggled in conference play, their record being 4-9 in the BIG 12. One reason for their struggles this season has been due to the loss of their sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton (wrist injury). Haliburton at the time was their leading scorer (15.2 points) and also led the team in rebounds, assists, and steals. Now that he’s been out of the lineup it’s been difficult for Iowa to produce the same product which has resulted in the Cyclones shooting so poorly. In their last matchup against Texas Tech on Jan. 18, Iowa State shot 15.6% (3 of 22) from three-point range. The Cyclones must do better in this matchup, but it might be difficult against a Texas Tech’s defensive powerhouse.
Texas Tech has seemed to find their rhythm in getting wins by using their defense to limit their opponent’s shooting abilities. And when their opponent is shooting poorly from the field and from three, this opens up a bigger gap for the Red Raiders to take over games.
Being at home for the Cyclones might give them some momentum since they are 10-4 at home. However, Texas Tech’s defense has been unstoppable as of late, and there’s no guarantee that Iowas State can over conquer that.