Texas Tech basketball enters national rankings

Tech has won all six of its games by double-digits including a 31-point win over previously unbeaten Northern Colorado on Saturday. Tech’s 27.5 points per game average margin of victory is good for fifth in the country and tops in the Big 12.

What’s more, Tech is third in the country in scoring defense. The Red Raiders are allowing just 48.8 points per game, fewer than any team other than Murray State and Michigan.

Tech also checks in at No. 3 in a new raking, the NET Raking?which “relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses” and replaces the old RPI ranking metric.

Chris Beard’s team is one of only three undefeated teams in the Big 12 joining Kansas and Kansas State. The Jayhawks are No. 2 in both national polls and the Wildcats are No. 10 in the coach’s poll and No. 12 in the AP poll. Texas is the only other Big 12 team in the top 25 checking in at No. 17 in both polls after beating No. 7 North Carolina last week.

Previously ranked TCU dropped out of the polls after a shocking loss to Lipscomb. That was the latest in a sting of early season upsets for Big 12 teams. West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma State have all dropped games to mid-major programs this year, something that the Red Raiders have been able to avoid thus far.

Tech has an opportunity to climb even higher in the polls before Big 12 play begins. Tech will next play 3-3 Memphis Saturday afternoon in Miami before a three-game home stand against mid-major opponents.

But the biggest opportunity for the Red Raiders to make noise on the national scene comes on December 20th (which is only four games away). Tech will face No. 3 Duke at Madison Square Garden in New York and if Tech can pull off the upset, it could easily find itself in the top 10.

Of course, the rankings are not all that important, especially in November. But they do provide further validation that this basketball team is nowhere near as pedestrian as most people predicted it would be.