February 26, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Mark Adams talks with guard Adonis Arms (25) during a first half break against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Required credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
By now, you already know that the Texas Tech basketball team was seeded #3 in the West in this year’s NCAA Tournament. And you also know that Tech opens its tournament on Friday at 12:45 central against No. 14 Montana State.
Being a No. 3 seed was exactly where just about every so-called key specialist had the tech pegged before Selection Sunday, so there was little drama for those of us in scarlet and black when the official field was revealed. However, there was a bit of a disappointment.
Red Raider fans dreamed of seeing the Red Raiders open the tournament in Forth Worth. But being the No. 3 seed doesn’t carry enough weight to garner geographic consideration from the selection committee. Instead, Tech will have to travel to San Diego for the first weekend of the tournament.
Kansas and Baylor, meanwhile, are the two Big 12 teams that were rewarded with trips to Cowtown this week. One wonders if that would have changed if Tech had found a way to beat Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament title game.
Another disappointment is that Tech was not placed in the South Region. If that had happened, the Red Raiders could have met in San Antonio for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Certainly, that scenario would have given Mark Adams’ team a huge home advantage.
But instead, the Red Raiders are heading west. If they survive the opening weekend, they’ll travel to San Francisco to play for a trip to the Final Four.
Of course, many fans were quick to point out that in 2019, when Texas Tech made its run to the National Championship Game, the Red Raiders were also the third seed in the West region, playing their Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games in Anaheim, California .
Hopefully another storybook March like this is in store in 2022. But getting back to that lofty place won’t be easy. So let’s take a look at the Red Raiders NCAA Tournament Draw. And we start by taking a look at what could be a tough matchup in the second round.
March Madness is all about David defeating Goliath. This is what has made the NCAA Tournament one of the most popular sporting events in America.
Often, when these upsets occur, it clears the way for a major conference opponent to make a deep run, as Cinderella teams usually fall by the wayside by the second weekend of the tournament.u00a0 For example, take Kansas State's run for the 2018 Elite 8.
Seeded No. 9 in their region, u00a0 the Wildcats had the advantage of playing No. 16 in UMBC in the second round after UMBC got the first ever loss of a No. 1 seed to a No. 16 seed. In the Elite 8, KSU got to play against Loyola Chicago, an 11 seed.
On the other hand, Tech has not yet been the beneficiary of such turmoil in its bracket. u00a0 In the 12 NCAA Tournament games the program has played since the start of the 2018 tournament, only once has Tech faced a lower seed than it could have. u00a0 Also, that instance occurred in the 2019 Final Four, when Tech faced #2 Michigan State instead of #1 Duke — that's not much of a surprise.
Perhaps this is the year when technology finally takes a break and there are some upheavals that make the West region more manageable.u00a0 Of course, that also means that the Red Raiders need to avoid falling victim to one of those Cinderella stories. .