8. Texas Tech (14-3, 3-1)
A lot has happened at Texas Tech in recent years but Grant McCasland is looking to offer stability and strength to this program. Fans were riding the high when Chris Beard took this program to the national title game in 2019, but both he and his successor are gone. The Red Raiders won just five games in conference play last year but already look like a much more formidable foe in the Big 12 under McCasland.
A nonconference slate that wasn’t exactly challenging saw the Red Raiders lose to Villanova in a tournament and at Butler in overtime. Texas Tech beat Michigan and Vanderbilt, two programs with significant struggles, but then got their first marquee win at Texas to open up league play. They followed that up with a pair of nice home wins to start 3-0 in the Big 12 but came back to reality earlier this week, losing by 23 points against Houston.
What we’ve learned is that Pop Isaacs, Joe Toussaint and the rest of this roster are exceeding expectations, especially on the offensive end. They’ve shown the ability to hang in games, bouncing back after a terrible shooting start to open the season. This week showed, however, that the Red Raiders can still be overwhelmed by top-level competition. They might struggle at times, especially on the road, but McCasland’s squad will make some noise in these coming months.