No. 1 Kansas at Texas Tech
WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas
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TV/RADIO: ESPNU; KCSP (610 AM)
ABOUT KANSAS (13-1, 2-0 Big 12): The first-ranked Jayhawks enter their first Big 12 road game tied for first in the conference race. But the way Kansas coach Bill Self looks at it, the Jayhawks are not technically ahead in the league standings. That honor would go to West Virginia, which is 2-0 with two road victories. The rationale: To win the Big 12, you must hold serve at home. A road victory is like a bonus. Well, Kansas can make up ground and rack up their first bonus at Texas Tech. Five days after a triple-overtime victory over Oklahoma, the Jayhawks return to the floor. A victory would guarantee the Jayhawks of another week atop the Associated Press poll before a trip Tuesday to West Virginia. After putting up 109 points against Oklahoma, Kansas ranks second in the country with 89.8 points per game and first in three-point shooting at 46.3 percent. Kansas has won 12 straight against Texas Tech and is 11-4 all-time in Lubbock, with the last loss coming March 4, 2009.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (11-2, 1-1 Big 12): After a superb nonconference season, the Red Raiders appear poised for a program breakthrough during Tubby Smith’s third season in Lubbock. Texas Tech opened the Big 12 with an 82-74 victory over Texas at home before losing at Iowa State on Wednesday night. The Red Raiders haven’t played an overly difficult schedule, but the numbers — the RPI and computer rankings — seem to support the idea that Texas Tech may be for real. As of Thursday night, Texas Tech ranked 39th at KenPom.com. Its only losses have come to teams ranked in the top 50, Utah and Iowa State. The most progress appears to have come on the defensive end. Last year, Texas Tech ranked 127th in defensive effiency. This year, they rank 23rd and are holding teams to 38.9 percent shooting from the field. On offense, the Red Raiders are a balanced outfit, with senior Devaugntah Williams averaging 16.5 points per game in two Big 12 contest. The Red Raiders, though, lack outside shooting, with senior Toddrick Gotcher the only player shooting above 40 percent.