The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the TCU Horned Frogs are both hovering just over .500 in Big 12 play entering Tuesday’s clash.
TV Schedule: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET, ESPN+
Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
Five games into Big 12 play, the Texas Tech Red Raiders and TCU Horned Frogs have identical records. They’re both 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12.
Not all wins and losses are made equal, though.
TCU enters Tuesday on a two-game losing streak, with blowouts coming on the road at West Virginia and Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs looked bad in those two games, losing by a combined 52 points. Prior to that, two of their three Big 12 wins came by exactly two points, with all three victories coming against the three teams at the bottom of the conference standings.
The subtext? TCU’s success is more of a function of scheduling and beating bad teams than actually being a good team this year. To boot, their most impressive non-conference win this season was either over George Mason or UC Irvine (though they have an upcoming opportunity against Arkansas).
TCU does enjoy a nice home-court advantage – just one loss in Fort Worth all year, to Xavier – but again, the opponents haven’t been of Texas Tech’s caliber.
Speaking of the Red Raiders, they enter Tuesday’s contest on a two-game winning streak. Interestingly, their three victories in Big 12 play came against the same teams TCU has beaten in the conference so far. The difference? TCU has won those games by an average of just over five points, while Texas Tech has won those games by an average of 23 points.
Texas Tech’s conference losses are more forgiving as well. The two teams both took a trip to Morgantown, where the Red Raiders lost by 20 fewer points than the Horned Frogs. Additionally, Texas Tech has a close loss to Baylor, one of the nation’s best teams.
Texas Tech has also beaten Louisville at a neutral site, back when the Cardinals were the No. 1 team in the country.
TCU is one of the better three-point shooting teams in the Big 12, but they struggled from the field against Oklahoma, hitting just 22.2 percent of their long-range attempts on Saturday. That doesn’t bode well against the Red Raiders, who just held Iowa State to a paltry 13.6 percent conversion rate from three.
Another important development for the Red Raiders is the rise of Kyler Edwards. Against Kansas State, the sophomore guard dropped 24 points, a career-high. Saturday against Iowa State, he almost matched it with a 22-point performance. Texas Tech has been looking for a third scoring option behind Jahmi’us Ramsey and Davide Moretti and it appears they’ve found it in Edwards.
The Horned Frogs are in dire need of a signature win, as Jamie Dixon’s team is in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year without one. Getting it against Chris Beard’s Red Raiders – who haven’t lost to TCU in the past two seasons – is a tall task.
Prediction: Texas Tech 70, TCU 61