Getting To Know Texas Tech: Utah State’s NCAA Tournament Opponent

Mar 14, 2021, 8:20 PM
Texas Tech Basketball...
Forward Marcus Santos-Silva #14 and guard Mac McClung #0 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders high five during the second half of the college basketball game against the Iowa State Cyclones at United Supermarkets Arena on March 04, 2021 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah State has a tough challenge ahead of them in Indianapolis when they face Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Tech is out of the Big 12 Conference, which is one of the best college basketball conferences in the nation, so Utah State will have their hands full.

Here is a look at the matchup with Texas Tech as they will battle in the first round on Friday.

About Texas Tech

The Red Raiders finished the 2020-21 regular season with a 17-10 overall record and 9-8 in Big 12 play. They have wins over Northwestern State, Sam Houston State, Troy, Grambling State, Abilene Christian, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Oklahoma twice, Incarnate Word, Kansas State twice, Iowa State twice, Texas twice, LSU and TCU.

Their losses came against Houston, Kansas twice, Oklahoma State twice, Baylor twice and West Virginia twice. TTU lost to Texas in the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals.

Georgetown transfer Mac McClung is Texas Tech’s leading scorer, averaging 15.7 points and 2.7 rebounds. He is shooting 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from the three-point line. Terrence Shannon Jr. is posting an average of 12.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. Kevin McCullar (10.1) and Kyler Edwards (10.0) round out the four Texas Tech players that average double figures.

Texas Tech Have Small Ties To Utah State & Basketball Program

Three small nuggets were brought up by Utah State head coach Craig Smith that had ties to either Texas Tech or head basketball coach Chris Beard. The first one was when Smith was the head coach of South Dakota, he had a star guard in Matt Mooney, who eventually transferred to Texas Tech. Mooney was the Red Raiders when they played in the NCAA Tournament National Championship game against Virginia in 2019.

The second one is Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells was at the helm in Logan for a couple of years before going to Lubbock. Wells and Smith connected earlier this year when the Aggies went to Lubbock to play New Mexico since the Lobos had to play their games there due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico. Wells attended both games that the Lobos played the Aggies in Lubbock this season.

The third thing is a connection with the Mountain West Conference. Beard accepted a position to coach at UNLV. Shortly after taking the job, he left to be the head coach at Texas Tech.

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