NCAA Tournament: No. 11 Utah State Faces No. 6 Texas Tech
Selection Sunday came & delivered the Aggies into the tourney.
Breaking down the opposition.
EXHALE, Aggie Nation, your Utah State Aggies once again are making the NCAA Tournament, as an at-large team, but surprisingly not in a play-in game. They got an 11 seed and will face Chris Beard’s Texas Tech Red Raiders from the Big 12 conference.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) March 14, 2021
What to know about Texas Tech:
RECORD: 17-10: That record doesn’t look great on the surface, but the BIG12 is arguably the top conference in College Hoops this season. Tech didn’t lose a single game to a team outside the top 30 in KenPom, losing twice to the 30th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. Despite that record looking questionable, Texas Tech is a talented team with an elite Head Coach.
Tech does everything at a high-level, there’s no area of their game that’s a noticeable question mark. That’s confirmed by KenPom ranking the Red Raiders 23rd in his rankings.
Best Wins: Texas (x2), Oklahoma, LSU
Here’s a thing, TTU doesn’t have many big-ticket wins. Knocking of Texas twice is impressive and taking down LSU in a furious comeback late in the game. They’ve lost seven of their ten losses by single-figures, always staying competitive in the games.
Mac McClung; 15.2 PPG
McClung is a wildcard a majority of the time, based on the streakiness of his scoring. To close out the year, McClung combined for 14 points in two games on 6-17 shooting. That’s what the Georgetown transfer’s done throughout his career, the talent is there, but you never know which McClung you’ll get. If he’s clicking, potentially a problem will arise for USU.
Terrence (T.J.) Shannon Jr:
Shannon’s a future NBA player due to his unreal athleticism and speed, which could prove to be a matchup nightmare for Utah State as he tries to start on the perimeter and get to the basket. Obviously, Neemias Queta will try to contest whatever shot Shannon brings inside, can March Anthony contain Shannon? Despite being a stout defender, Anthony hasn’t seen a guy like Shannon since coming over to Utah State.
Another transfer Chris Beard’s added in the past year, this time from VCU. Santos-Silva is a big-body and strong, but only 6’7, that’s a dangerous matchup for Tech, with how massive Neemias Queta is. There isn’t a ton of height on Texas Tech’s roster, but if Utah State could’ve found one matchup where Queta thrives, this is the matchup.
Overall, getting into the NCAA Tournament is a win for Utah State, especially avoiding the First Four. It should be fun seeing this version of Neemias Queta on a national stage. The winner gets the winner of 3 vs. 14 game between Arkansas and Colgate.