What Texas Tech must do to make the NCAA Tournament

Postseason play is starting to become an inevitable outcome after Texas Tech topped Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., before defeating TCU in United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders have three road wins in Big 12 play this season after only winning three games total in conference play last season.

As the Big 12 continues to maintain the highest RPI ranking of any conference, seven teams are projected to make the tournament from the conference, tied for the most along with the ACC and Big Ten.

A win against No. 11 West Virginia on Wednesday would give Texas Tech wins against five of the six teams ranked ahead of the Red Raiders in the Big 12 standings. The Red Raiders lost to No. 1 Kansas, 67 58, last week in Lawrence.

CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jerry Palm and USA Today Sports cheap college basketball jerseys bracketologist Shelby Mast both currently project the Red Raiders will make the tournament as a seven seed, taking on Connecticut in the Midwest region.

ESPN’s Joe Lundardi projects Texas Tech will make the tournament as an eight seed, facing South Carolina in the South region while Sports Illustrated’s Michael Beller predicts the Red Raiders will face Temple in the East region as the seventh seed. The common theme: Texas Tech is in the dance, save the date.

Tech needs a win against either West Virginia or Kansas State in its final week of regular season Cheap NCAA Jerseys
play. After losing to the Jayhawks, the Red Raiders must avoid closing their season on three straight losses. A trio of losses would prove detrimental to coach Tubby Smith’s team, particularly if the Red Raiders were to drop their next two followed by a first round exit in the Big 12 Tournament.

In order to continue making progress in the Big 12 where seven of its 10 teams are projected to make an NCAA Tournament appearance Tech must continue playing competitive basketball, in spite their limited roster, similar to Tech’s five game winning streak in the second half of Conference play.

With games remaining against West Virginia and Kansas State, Tech has two final opportunities to continue boosting its resume prior to the Big 12 Tournament and essentially Selection Sunday.

SMU sees big fall in preseason rankings

CBS’s Matt Norlander took the trouble to rank all 351 Division I basketball programs before the college hoops season starts. It’s a long read but a good way to get yourself ready for the college basketball season that starts next month.

Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, defending champions Villanova and Xavier fill out the top five. The highest ranked local team is Texas at No. 17. Norlander noted that he ranked the Longhorns higher than most will in the preseason because of his high expectations for sophomores Kerwin Roach and Tevin Mack and freshman Jarrett Allen.

“This is a projection on how we think the sport shakes out, so cheap college football jerseys from china while Texas won’t be a top 20 team in November, by the time Shaka (Smart) molds these guys in February, we think UT will be contending for a No. 4/5 seed,” Norlander wrote.

Texas A was the next local school on the list, coming in at NCAA Jerseys China
No. 28, though Norlander wrote that he might be being generous with the Aggies given the loss of four starters. Hogg will probably average 14 points, but overall, the Aggies need to overcome losing four starters and still keep pace with a top 10 defense. A tough ask,” the CBS analyst wrote.

The next local school was No. 35 Oklahoma, who Norlander thinks will survive the loss of Buddy Hield with big years from Khadeem Lattin and Jordan Woodard. Baylor soon followed at No. 40. Norlander wrote that while Johnathan Motley is an All Big 12 caliber player, the offense will still miss Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers this season.

Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were Nos. 47 and 50, respectively, as they go through their coaching changes.

SMU is another local team going through a coaching change with Larry Brown stepping away and Tim Jankovich taking over. The change caused Norlander to admittedly “settle” with the Mustangs at No. 56 despite the team being among the AP Top 25 for much of last season.

“They lose Nic Moore, he was a big piece. They still got plenty there and Tim Jankovich is a good coach (but) I just don’t see SMU as a top 50 team right now,” Norlander said in a video accompanying the rankings.

Lashann Higgs jersey on him

AUSTIN When the starters failed to produce Sunday, Texas coach Karen Aston leaned on several reserves.

One of them, Lashann Higgs, scored 17 points, and the No. 5 Longhorns beat Sam Houston State 83 49.

Higgs, a highly touted freshman guard, produced a season high eight assists, matched her best with four steals and grabbed eight rebounds. The 17 points were one fewer than her best.

Another sub, former Duncanville star Ariel Atkins, added 12 points as the Longhorns (11 0) increased their regular season nonconference winning streak to 25 games, going back to the 2013 14 season.

Reserves Kelsey Lang and Jordan Hosey scored 10 apiece.

The bench accounted for 62 points, and Aston saw other value as well.

“Right now, the players that come off of our bench, those guys really give us really good defensive energy,” Aston said. “You really have to have that in [Big 12] play.”

Higgs, blessed with exceptional quickness, is still becoming acclimated to college basketball.

“What I had to learn is slowing down and looking at each option instead of going, going, going,” Higgs said.

Atkins, a starter last season, played 19 minutes as a reserve in her second game since Cheap Jerseys from China
returning from off season surgery to her right ankle. She played only six minutes in her first game back, against Arkansas on Dec. 20.

“Physically I feel fine,” Atkins said. “Conditioning wise, I’m still working on that.”

Shernise Robertson led Sam Houston (4 6) with 16 points but converted only 4 of 14 shots from the field.

The Longhorns missed 10 of their first 11 shots but warmed up quickly enough to fashion a 13 0 push in the first quarter and a 36 17 halftime lead.

Higgs had nine points, four assists and four rebounds in the half.

Oklahoma State 76, Savannah State 48: In Stillwater, Okla., Brittney Martin scored 26 points and added 10 rebounds, and sophomore Kaylee Jensen finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds as Oklahoma State cruised in its final game before Big 12 play begins.

College football jerseys Top 25 polls

Others receiving votes: Houston 65, Southern Cal 40, San Diego St. 21, Troy 20, Tennessee 17, South Florida 10, Arkansas 7, Wyoming 5, Tulsa 3.

Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington are at the top of The Associated Press Top 25 college football poll and the Big 12 was left without a top 10 team after a weekend during which four unbeaten teams lost.

Alabama is No. 1, receiving all but one of the 61 first place votes from the media panel. Michigan received a first place vote. Both No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Washington won road games against ranked teams Saturday.

West Virginia and Baylor from the Big 12 were not so fortunate. The Mountaineers slipped to No. 14 after their first loss. The Bears dropped to 13th after losing to Texas.


This is the first time in the history of the Big 12 which started in 1996 that it enters November with no top 10 teams in the AP poll. No. 12 Oklahoma is the highest ranked of four Big 12 teams in the Top 25. No. 16 Utah moved up a spot after losing 31 24 to Washington.

No. 8 Wisconsin moved up three spots after 23 17 victory in overtime against previously unbeaten Nebraska.

No. 11 Auburn moved up four spots. No. 9 Nebraska slipped only two spots after its first loss.

No. 19 Florida State dropped seven spots after a 37 34 loss. The Seminoles’ other two losses are to No. 5 Louisville and No. 18 North Carolina.

No. 24 Boise State fell 11 spots after its first loss of the season. The Broncos lost 30 28 at Wyoming. No. 22 Oklahoma State is back in the ranking for the second time this season after beating West Virginia.

No. 25 Washington State is ranked for the first time this season and did it after starting 0 2 NCAA Jerseys China
with a loss to Eastern Washington of the FCS. The Cougars and rival Huskies were last ranked at the same time Sept. 28, 2003. Washington was 18th and Washington State was 14th. Tennessee fell out of the rankings for the first time this season after losing at South Carolina.