Young & Sooners Will Test Texas Tech Defense

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Texas Tech is one of the biggest surprises of the season, and the Red Raiders are favored on the NCAA basketball odds to keep it going with a win over Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

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Free NCAAB Pick: Oklahoma +7½
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Congratulations to anyone who bet Texas Tech on the NCAA basketball futures to win the Big 12 title. For starters, picking against Kansas takes a pretty big set. And secondly, going with a team like the Red Raiders who most saw as NIT material at best should provide a nice payday.

Of course, many of the pundits who picked Texas Tech to finish fifth or sixth in the league also told us the Longhorns’ Mo Bamba would be the top freshman in the Big 12. We know now that is not true, and Oklahoma’s Trae Young would now like to guide his Sooners to a season sweep of the Red Raiders when the schools collide Tuesday night in Lubbock. ESPN will carry the 7 PM (ET) contest, and Bookmaker is carrying Tech at -7½ with 156 for the total.

Sooners Eye 1st Season Sweep In 3 Years

When the teams met in Norman about five weeks ago, the Sooners were ranked No. 9 and the Red Raiders No. 8. Oklahoma got the 75-65 win as 2½ point chalk on the NCAA basketball odds, and Young scored 27, just below his season average (29.5). The victory left the Sooners with a 39-23 all-time against the Texas Tech, with a 30-15 domination in Big 12 play and 15-7 since the start of the 2005-06 campaign.

But things took a turn for the worse for Lon Kruger and the Sooners after that. They followed with an overtime win over TCU, but have since dropped 6-of-8, including the last three. Young’s star power is the only reason Oklahoma didn’t fall out of the top 25 of the latest rankings, Ken Pomeroy listing the Sooners 31st and ESPN’s power rankings two rungs lower.

Red Raiders Holding Big 12 To 59 PPG

By contrast, the Red Raiders are level across those four rankings – No. 6 according to the coaches, No. 8 in the AP, No. 9 on the BPI and No. 8 at KenPom. Chris Beard has a harassing defense that ranks fourth in the country in scoring (62), sixth in shooting (39.1%) and 11th in steals (8.2). Big 12 teams are swishing even fewer points per game (59.0), and Texas Tech has been unbeatable at United Super Markets Arena with a 15-0 record (6-5 ATS).

Staying with the supermarket theme, Tech’s problem has been in produce, or production on the offensive end, to be more precise. The Red Raiders did a decent job against Young in the first encounter, the OU rookie at least working for his 27 points by connecting on just 7-of-23 from the field, but nobody supported Keenan Evans on offense. Young doesn’t need much support, which is why I’m grabbing the points for my free college basketball pick.

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Do what you do. Don’t worry about the noise. #WreckEm #4To1 pic.twitter.com/PtSDctqZt9

— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) February 11, 2018
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