Texas Tech (12-11, 4-6) versus Oklahoma (18-6, 7-4)
Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, Oklahoma,
When: 7 p.m. (CT, Wednesday
TV: Big 12 Network
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
The Matchup: The last time Texas Tech Baylor Bears, they followed it up with a road win over TCU. Now, after dispatching No. 19 Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders have a chance to validate their upset with yet another road victory. But the task will be tougher this time as Tech travels to Norman to take on No. 21 Oklahoma.
Earlier in the year, in what may have been Tech's most disappointing performance of the season, the Red Raiders fell by nine points at home to Oklahoma in a game where Tech never seriously threatened the visitors. In their immediately previous home tilt the Red Raiders knocked off No. 12 Baylor and the expectation was that they would do the same to OU.
If Tech is to return the favor against the Sooners, they will have to control freshman point guard Jordan Woodard better than they did on Jan. 25. The Red Raiders felt that the youngster could be a liability they could exploit, but instead, Woodard ran the Sooner attack smoothly, scored 15 points and doled out eight assists. Perhaps Tech will run a bit more zone defense in an attempt to keep Woodard out of the lane.
Playing zone against the sharpshooting Sooners is a dangerous proposition, however. OU shoots 38 percent from beyond the arc and has five players who shoot 38 percent or better from that distance. In other words, Oklahoma always has a lethal shooter on the floor.
But don't count the Red Raiders out. They played their best defensive game of the season in the win over Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys are just as tough an offensive team as the Sooners.
Tech's undisputed leader and premier player is forward Jaye Crockett who averages 14 points and six rebounds per game and inspires his team with his will to win. Crockett is playing like a man on a mission and it has rubbed off on his teammates.
Beyond Crockett, the Red Raider roster is stocked with a collection of role players who are meshing very well under coach Tubby Smith. In this respect, they resemble some of Gerald Myers' fine teams from the early- and mid-eighties.
Tech Player to Watch: Crockett is Tech's bell-cow, but for the Red Raiders to upend the Sooners, somebody else will have to step up. Perhaps it will be backup point guard Randy Onwuasor who was simply superb in his 12 minutes against OSU. For most of the season, the freshman has looked like a two guard compelled to play the one for the simple reason that Tubby Smith had nobody else to back up Robert Turner. But Onwuasor is beginning to show point guard vision, the ability to make tough passes, and the confidence to drive with authority. If he can more consistently hit his jumper, look out.
Oklahoma Player to Watch: Guard Isaiah Cousins is not yet a star for the Sooners, but he was OU's big gun in Oklahoma's 16-point victory over Baylor the last game out. Cousins pumped in a career high 21 points.
Notable: Tech's two wins over top 25 teams are the most since the 2007-08 season when the Red Raiders turned the trick thrice.
Quotable: "We've been an underdog in every game we've played pretty much and we've finally found a way to win. I think it validates that we're moving in the right direction. I think our fans feel that way, the administration, and I feel that way. I think our players are starting to believe and play with that type of confidence." —Tubby Smith
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