Home-court advantage has not been evident when the Texas Tech Red Raiders play the Kansas Jayhawks with Texas Tech losing 10 of its last 11 home dates against the Jayhawks. However, two of the last four times that visiting Kansas was favored, the result was a one-point game.
Texas Tech, ranked 25th in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, has lost both of its true road games with both of them coming against ranked opponents but is 8-0 at home.
Texas Tech began the season by winning its first six games all by at least 15 points but are just 4-3 since with four-point losses to Providence and Iowa State. Sixth-ranked Kansas has played only three games decided by less than 10 points including a one-point loss to Dayton back in late November. The Jayhawks haven’t lost since.
In a conference featuring defending national champion Baylor, it was Kansas (+150) that had the best odds to win the Big 12 title when the season started. Texas Tech (+800) had the fourth-best odds behind Kansas, Texas and Baylor.
Game: Kansas (12-1) at Texas Tech (10-3)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas
Day/Time: Saturday, January 8, 4 p.m. ET
Kansas Jayhawks at Texas Tech Red Raiders
New role fit McCormack well for Kansas Jayhawks
David McCormack had started the first 12 games of the 2021-22 season and all but one game a season ago but when he was left out of the starting lineup in a recent game at Oklahoma State, he didn’t let it impact the way he played.
In a contest where the high-scoring Jayhawks had to work for every basket, McCormack provided a huge lift off the bench as he had season highs with 17 points and 15 rebounds in the nine-point victory.
Kansas finished with 25 bench points with McCormack leading the way. It was the fifth game in a row that Kansas had at least 20 points from its reserves. The Jayhawks’ non-starters have averaged 28.4 points in those five games.
“I haven’t really given it that much thought,” Kansas coach Bill Self told the media when he was asked whether he planned to start Mitch Lightfoot at center for the second game in a row or go back to McCormack as the starter. “We practiced yesterday and kept it exactly the way we started at Oklahoma State. I guess that could change but as of now I’m seeing starting the same guys we did in Stillwater.”
Will it be David McCormack or Mitch Lightfoot at the 5-spot on Saturday? https://t.co/NHysdTnQXa
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) January 7, 2022
A bigger concern is the health of guard Remy Martin who didn’t practice on Thursday but Self was hopeful that he would be good to go on Saturday.
Kansas is 5-2 against the college basketball spread in its last seven games as well as in its last seven matchups with Texas Tech.
Texas Tech hoping its top scorers return
If fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders have a wish heading into 2022 it would be to have a healthy team as the Big 12 season gets rolling.
The new year didn’t start out that way as Terrance Shannon, Kevin McCullar and Mylik Wilson all missed Wednesday’s game against Iowa State. The result was a 51-47 loss for Texas Tech, a team that had scored more than 70 points in three of the last four games.
Shannon, the Red Raiders’ leading scorer with an average of 14.3 points per game, hasn’t played since a December 14 game against Arkansas State and has missed seven of the first 13 games of the season. McCullar is averaging 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds. He also leads the team with 16 3-pointers and 35 assists despite missing three contests. Wilson has 33 points, 26 assists and 15 steals in eight games.
They are all considered to be game-time decisions for the game against Kansas.
As for Terrance Shannon, Mylik Wilson, and Kevin McCullar injury updates
Adams: “They’re both progressing, Mylik a little faster than TJ at this point. There’s certainly a possibility that Malik may play some minutes.”
McCullar will also be game-time. “I’d still say it’s 50-50” https://t.co/NmmepFpXtb
— Mason Horodyski 🌵 (@MasonHorodyski) January 7, 2022
Texas Tech lost the last time out despite holding Iowa State to 30.6% shooting.
First-year Texas Tech coach Mark Adams spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Red Raiders and received plenty of credit for the success of the Red Raiders’ defense. When Chris Beard left to take the same job at Texas, it took the Red Raiders less than a week to name Adams as the head coach.
Texas Tech is just 3-4 in its last seven games against the Las Vegas odds.
Battle on the boards
The rebounding will be fun to watch. Texas Tech is the top defensive rebounding team in the Big 12 and second in the conference with a rebounding margin of 11.4. Kansas is outrebounding teams by 6.6.
Something to consider for those who bet online, Kansas has covered in the last three games against Texas Tech with each of them going under the total.
The total has gone over in seven of the last 10 games between Texas Tech and Kansas.
The last six Texas Tech games went under the total and with the uncertainty surrounding some of its top offensive players, this game could also go under the total even though Kansas is the top-scoring team in the Big 12.
The line could move late once the status of the ailing Texas Tech players is revealed.