Texas Tech (13-17, 5-12) versus Texas (22-8, 11-6)
Where: Lubbock, Texas, United Spirit Arena
When: 3 p.m. (CT) Saturday
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network by Learfield Sports
The Matchup: Texas' 67-64 win over Texas Tech earlier in the season, a game the Red Raiders controlled most of the way, was the initial victory of a seven-game Longhorn win streak. Texas went on a jag that included wins over Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas, all top 25 teams at the time. Since that stellar flourish, however, the Longhorns have been somewhat pedestrian, going 4-and-4, and losing three of their last five games. All three of those losses were on the road.
Four Longhorns, Jevan Felix, Cameron Ridley, Isaiah Taylor and Jonathan Holmes, all average in the 12-to-13 points per game range, so Rick Barnes certainly has a balanced offensive basketball team. But the Longhorns shoot only 43 percent from the floor, 33 percent from three, and 67 percent from the charity stripe. Texas also has two more turnovers than assists on the season.
Instead of offensively, Texas does it with defense and rebounding. The Longhorns limit opponents to 40-percent shooting from the floor, and are plus-eight in rebounding margin.
Texas Tech hasn't won a basketball game since February 12 when they pounded Oklahoma in Norman. That was the final win of a three-game victory streak, but what was shaping up as a potentially glorious finish for the Red Raiders, has instead turned into a dismal denouement. Tech is now on a six-game slide, although three of those losses were by six points or less.
A significant part of Tech's problem is the fact that bell-cow Jaye Crockett is playing on bad wheels and appears to be about 60-percent effective. For a team that already struggles to find offense, the negation of leading scorer Crockett has proved an insuperable obstacle. Crockett's 14 points and six rebounds per game still lead the team, however.
The Red Raiders outshoot their opponents from the floor, 46 to 44 percent, and outrebound them by three per game, but trail their foes in three-point shooting and are minus-seven in assists on the season. Tech has also had the misfortune of seeing their opponents shoot 75 percent from the free throw line.
Tech Player to Watch: This will be Senior Day for Texas Tech, and the program will bid adieu to Crockett, Dejan Kravic, Kadir Tapsoba and Jamal Williams. There are very real physical limits to what Crockett can do, but don't be surprised if Kravic has a big game.
Texas Player to Watch: Will Jonathan Holmes play against Tech or won't he? Texas' leading scorer sat out Texas' win over TCU in the Longhorns' last game, and no timetable for his return has been announced.
Notable: Texas Tech has not won a regular season home finale since 2004.
Quotable: "The things we did try to do, they did a good job of denying, making us go to the second or third option, making us put it on the floor, and us not having the toughness to execute things. When you get intimidated like that this is the result."—Tubby Smith on Tech's loss at Kansas
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