The Texas Tech Red Raiders face a quick turnaround in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Big 12 Conference Tournament but they won't have to worry about rust versus Kansas.
NCAA Basketball odds makers have installed the Jayhawks as 20 point favorites, and the total has been set at 133.5. It's clear that everyone expect Kansas to blow Texas Tech out of the building, but will the Red Raiders be able to put up some sort of fight?
Let our breakdow help you decide just how you should place your NCAA Basketball picks in this matchup.
Texas Tech can win because…
The Kansas Jayhawks have shown that they can lose to a really bad team this season, falling into a deep rut despite owning superior talent. Kansas, you will recall, scored just 13 points in the first half of a loss to TCU over a month ago. TCU is the last-place team in the Big 12, and Kansas - the same program that made the national championship game last season in college basketball - could not keep pace with the Horned Frogs. If Kansas can throw in a stinker on that grand a scale, it can surely slip on the banana peel again on Thursday afternoon against Texas Tech.
The other point to realize about this game is that Texas Tech got its feet wet in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday night in a one-possession win over West Virginia. Texas Tech will not have to worry about rust. The Red Raiders performed under pressure and will not have to worry about rhythm in this contest. Kansas, on the other hand, will be playing this game cold, having sat around for four full days in this lull before the start of its conference tournament. When the quarterfinal round of a conference tournament arrives, the one advantage lower seeds always have over higher seeds is that they have played one game in the league tournament, giving them a chance to work off rust and perform with greater precision. The higher seed, given an early-round bye, will often struggle to find regular-season form, making a game far more difficult than the experts think.
Kansas can win because…
The Jayhawks are not the team they were when they lost to TCU. Kansas lost three straight games during that miserable period in early February when nothing went right, but the Jayhawks got past that stretch, enough to win a share of their ninth consecutive Big 12 regular season championship, one of the most impressive feats in modern-day college basketball. The Jayhawks have received clutch shooting from their guards and regained a winning touch in late-game situations. If they do struggle in the first 20 to 30 minutes against Texas Tech, they should be able to right the ship in the final 10 minutes of regulation time.
The other point which has to be stressed in this game is simply that Texas Tech isn't very good. The Red Raiders made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2005 but have steadily plummeted ever since. When you also realize that Texas Tech, which played a night game on Wednesday, has to come back for an early-afternoon tip-off on Thursday, it's clear that the Red Raiders are going to be challenged in terms of their stamina in the second half. This team might be good for one solid half of basketball, but two good halves will be a tall order.
Outlook & College Basketball Betting Prediction:
This should be a blowout. Texas Tech offers nothing that can seriously threaten Kansas. The Red Raiders will not be able to establish a competitive foothold in the second half of play.College Basketball Pick: Kansas -21 at Ladbrokes