Game 24: No. 15 Texas Tech at No. 23 Kansas– Preview and Prediction

The No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks look extend its four-game win streak to five on Saturday afternoon when they host the No. 15 Texas Tech Red Raiders. Kansas is coming off the ugliest 18-point win imaginable, as they took down Kansas State 59-41 on Wednesday. Texas Tech on the other hand, has not played since February 9th, when they fell to West Virginia 82-71. The Red Raiders have had five games cancelled this season due to COVID.

  • Saturday, February 20th, 2020, 1:00 PM CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kan.
  • ESPN
  • No. 23/24 Kansas (16-7, 10-5) takes a four-game winning streak into its battle with No. 15/11 Texas Tech (14-6, 6-5) Saturday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.
  • Kansas is 10-5 in Big 12 play, which is the most wins in the league and one victory more than league-leading Baylor (9-0). KU is tied with Oklahoma (8-4) for second in the league standings based on win percentage.
  • Texas Tech will be the 11th Associated Press ranked team Kansas will play in 2020-21. KU is 5-5 versus ranked opponents this season and its 10 games versus ranked foes ties for the second most in NCAA DI this season.
  • With its win at Kansas State (2/17), KU has now won 10 league games for the 27th consecutive season. The current 27-year streak with 10-plus league wins is the longest active streak in the nation. KU has won 10 conference games 58 times overall
  • Kansas’ 11 Quadrant 1 games played in 2020-21 are tied for the second most in the Big 12 with West Virginia. Kansas State leads with 12. Through games of Feb. 17, KU’s 11 Q1 games played rank tied for fourth nationally. KU is 4-7 versus Quadrant 1 teams, 3-0 vs. Q2, 3-0 vs. Q3, 5-0 vs. Q4.
  • Five of Kansas’ seven losses have been to ranked teams and the other two losses are to teams that have moved into the top 25 of either the Associated Press or Coaches’ polls (at Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State).

Red Raiders to Watch

Mac McClung  – 6’2”, junior, guard

McClung is the No. 1 scoring option for the Red Raiders, as he leads the team with 17.2 PPG. The Georgetown transfer is a real threat at getting to the basket and shoots a high percentage at the line, but he’s never been a three-point shooter (career 30% from deep), but is shooting a career best 34 percent from deep this season and nearly 40 percent of his shots this season are from three. In seven road games this season, McClung is averaging 21 PPG.

Terrance Shannon Jr. – 6’6”, sophomore, guard

The sophomore guard averaging 13.0 PPG this season and pulling down 5.0 RPG. In the seasons initial matchup with KU, Shannon scored 20 points, pulled down nine boards and shot 4-7 from three, by far his best shooting performance this season

Jayhawk Pick to Click

Jalen Wilson – 6’8”, RS freshman, guard

Like I said in the K-State preview, it’s no coincidence that KU’s play has risen as Wilson’s has done the same. Kansas has won five of the last six games and in that stretch Wilson has averaged 14.3 PPG and 10.1 RPG. He didn’t shoot the ball great against the Wildcats, as he was just 3-8 from the field, but was still able to get to the line — going 4-6 from the charity stripe.

Prediction

Texas Tech hasn’t played a game in nearly two weeks, as their last three contests have been cancelled due to either COVID protocols or the Texas weather situation. Kansas, on the other hand, is coming in hot, having won five of their last six. Admittedly, some of that is due to a weak spot in the KU schedule, but I think that stretch has helped KU get some of its confidence back heading into March.

Kansas was pretty ugly on the offensive side of the ball against Kansas State on Wednesday, despite shooting 45 percent for the game. They scored just 59 points and were 4-for-16 from three-point land. As we’ve been harping on for most of the year, we’d like to see Kansas take some more threes especially when David McCormack is out of the game. 16 attempts is just way too few – they should be getting that in a half. While Kansas certainly has struggled at times this season on offense, I don’t expect it be as bad against Tech as it was against K-State. I look for a bounce back performance.

I think this game will go down to the wire, as I believe they matchup similarly. For as good as Chris Beard has been at Texas Tech, he’s just 2-7 against Kansas, and Texas Tech is 1-19 all-time at Allen Fieldhouse. This game marks a crucial three-game stretch for the Jayhawks to end the year. Kansas needs at least two wins, I believe, in this last week to put a bow on its tournament resume. With that in mind, I’ll take the Jayhawks in a tightly contested affair, making just enough threes and forcing just enough turnovers to squeak one out.

Kansas 67, Texas Tech 63
KU -2

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 17-6 (13-10 ATS)

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.