Texas Tech Exits Big 12 Tournament in 1st round
The Red Raiders are now done with Big 12 basketball after a 67-62 loss at the hands of TCU. Sunday the 13th is Selection Sunday when the Red Raiders hope to be given a place in the NCAA Tournament.
The loss in the Big 12 Tournament should not hurt the chances of the team to make the field of 68 but it will affect the seeding. Many thought of Tech as a 7 seed but after a quick exit to the 10th seed they may be closer to a 9 seed.
This is the 3rd straight season the Red Raiders have dropped the first game at the Big 12 Tournament, but this is the first season in which they were upset. TCU advances to face No. 9 West Virginia in Thursday’s quarterfinal round.
“Certainly, I want to commend TCU,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “Coach Johnson had his team ready to play. Things just didn't go well, we didn't shoot the ball well. When that happens, we have a tough time. But I really was impressed with Zach (Smith). He really came ready to play. It was a disappointment, but again we got outplayed and outhustled and probably outcoached.”
Being outhustled is something the ESPNU announcers harped on the entire second half. Justin Gray and Zach Smith both had good games, despite a few no shows. Norense Odiase had a warm welcome back with 10 points and 6 rebounds after missing 12 straight games. Toddrick Gotcher wasn't in the building, it seemed, for the first half but ended with 9 points.
Tech's perimeter defense was back at it again allowing TCU 10 3's. Vlad Brodzianski was the unsnung hero of the night with a double double and 4 blocks along with a dagger 3 in the corner toward the end of the game that put the game out of reach in the final moments.
After a 7-0 lead for Tech to start the game it was pretty much a downward spiral from there allowing a 15 -4 run that led to only a 31-30 point lead at half.
Tech started strong and extended the lead to 36-30 at the 17:55 mark after five quick points courtesy of Gotcher, but TCU stormed back with a 13-0 run to take it's biggest lead of the night at 43-36.
From there Tech woke up but didn't have what it took to finish TCU off. Tied at 45 the teams played even until Brodziansky provided a bucket to go up for good with close to a minute left in the game.
“The body of work we've put in throughout the year, the strength of schedule and the wins we've had, I think we've got a very good shot of getting in (the NCAA Tournament), Smith said. “We'll have to see, but we didn't help ourselves tonight obviously. But again, TCU, you get in a tournament like this, a lot of teams get beat in the first -- somebody's going to lose. We just didn't have it tonight.