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Red Raiders Look to Bounce Back On the Road Against No. 3 Kansas

Photo CC: Getty Images

After a devastating 82-83 loss to No. 24 TCU this past Saturday, Texas Tech will travel to Lawrence on Tuesday to take on the No. 3 ranked Kansas Jayhawks in a must-win game to keep the Red Raiders in contention for an at-large NCAA tournament bid. 

Game info:

Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas

Time: 8:00 PM CST

Coverage: ESPN

Matchup Overview

Previous matchup

Tuesday’s matchup will be the second time these two teams have met this season, with the first resulting in a 72-75 loss in Lubbock after a questionable no-call in the final seconds of the game. It’s important to note that Texas Tech was without the addition of senior transfer Fardaws Aimaq when they faced the Jayhawks previously, while Kansas played with a fully healthy roster. 

In their first meeting, the Jayhawks performed better than the Red Raiders in nearly every statistical category. Kansas was slightly more efficient from the field as shown by their 49.2% field goal efficiency compared to Texas Tech’s 47.3%. The Jayhawks also out-rebounded the Red Raiders on both the offensive and defensive glass, grabbing 32 total boards to Texas Tech’s 28. Tech has struggled all season long with accumulating a high volume of assists and their first game against Kansas was no exception. Kansas had 22 assists as a team, while the Red Raiders managed only ten. The Jayhawks also previously won the turnover battle, forcing 15 Texas Tech turnovers on 12 of their own. 

Upcoming matchup

Texas Tech comes into this game having won four of their last five, and Kansas comes in on a six-game win streak after just barely hanging on in their 76-74 victory over West Virginia in Lawrence on Saturday. It’s clear that both of these teams are playing some of their best basketball right now, so it’s certainly an intriguing matchup, especially with it being this late in the regular season.

While the Red Raiders have been playing extremely well recently, pulling out a win at Allen Fieldhouse is certainly going to be a challenge as the Jayhawks only have one loss at home all season. In addition to Kansas’s impressive home win record, Texas Tech has historically struggled to play at the Phog, having won only one of the 21 meetings between these two teams all-time in Lawrence. 

According to ESPN’s Analytics, Kansas currently has a massive edge in the Matchup Predictor, with an 84.4% win probability. Vegas odds also have Kansas favored by a nine-point margin, with money line odds coming in at Kansas -480 (Texas Tech +360), according to data provided by Caesar’s Sportsbook. 

Team Leaders

Texas Tech

Texas Tech’s leading scorer is Kevin Obanor, averaging 14.8 PPG on 50% shooting. Obanor also leads the team in rebounding, with averages of 6.5 RPG (4.5 DRPG, 2.0 ORPG). Previously against Kansas, Obanor had 26 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal. While Obanor has been fairly quiet on the scoring front recently, his ability to score at a high clip against the Jayhawks will likely play a major role in determining the outcome of Tuesday’s game. 

De’Vion Harmon currently leads the Red Raiders in assists per game, averaging 3.6 APG and 1.7 TOPG (turnovers per game). Harmon struggled in the previous matchup against Kansas, with only four points and no rebounds or assists in his 25 minutes of play. 


The Jayhawks’ leading scorer is Jalen Wilson, averaging 19.6 PPG on 41.8% shooting from the field. Wilson has had a breakout season this year and currently scores an average of 25.6% of his team’s points every game, meaning Kansas relies on Jalen Wilson to score a quarter of their total buckets on average. Wilson also leads this Jayhawks team in rebounding, averaging 8.4 RPG (6.9 DRPG, 1.6 ORPG). Previously against Texas Tech, Wilson had 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal in his 39 minutes of action. 

Dajuan Harris Jr. currently leads Kansas in assists, with averages of 6.3 APG and 1.9 TOPG. Harris Jr. was Kansas’s most valuable offensive weapon in the previous matchup against Texas Tech as he led the Jayhawks in scoring with 18 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc as he shot 5-5 (100%) from three. Limiting Dajuan Harris’s open looks from the perimeter is will need to be a key focus of the Red Raiders if they want to have a chance to pull off the upset. The matchup between Harris Jr. and Pop Isaacs is going to be one to look out for in Tuesday’s game as both of them thrive off of shooting the deep ball.

Keys to Success

Win the turnover battle

Texas Tech needs to focus on taking care of the basketball come Tuesday evening as turnovers have been this team’s Achilles heel all season long. If the Red Raiders can limit Kansas’s fast-break opportunities off of turnovers, there could be room for them to sneak out of Lawrence with a win. The other aspect of this is that Texas Tech needs to force as many turnovers as possible on the defensive end and capitalize on such in transition.

Crash the glass

If the Red Raiders want to have a shot at winning this game, it’s imperative that they out-rebound the Jayhawks on both ends of the floor. Limiting Kansas’s second-chance opportunities will be key in this game as the Jayhawks have some of the most dangerous threats for second-chance points in Dajuan Harris Jr., Jalen Wilson, and KJ Adams Jr. Texas Tech also needs to give themselves as many opportunities as possible for second chance points by crashing the offensive glass to keep up with Kansas’s historically high-power offense.

Limit scoring droughts

One of Texas Tech’s most common struggles this season has been allowing their opponents to go on big runs, resulting in the Red Raiders facing scoring droughts that have lasted minutes at a time. When facing a high-caliber offense like Kansas’s, the inability to score for extended periods isn’t going to cut it, especially when you factor in the momentum swings that come with playing at such a historically difficult arena to play in. If Texas Tech wants to win this game, they’ve got to be able to go toe-to-toe with the Jayhawks on the scoring front and limit the crowd involvement as much as possible. 

Final Thoughts

With an at-large Tournament bid on the line in the remaining two games of the regular season, the Red Raiders will have to dig deep and prove that they deserve to be in the March Madness conversation. There is no doubt in my mind that this team has the talent to win this game in Lawrence, but it will be up to them to decide just how badly they want it and just how hard they’re willing to fight for it. 

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