By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
Last season, the Red Raiders rode an ANE of over 0.30 points per possession all the way to the championship game where they fell to Virginia in OT. The 2019-20 version of the Red Raiders is not even close to the same team as a year ago. The current Texas Tech record is 12-6, 3-3 in the Big 12 with an ANE of about 0.19 ppp
Last season, Kentucky rode an ANE of over 0.28 points per possession all the way to the Elite Eight where they fell to Auburn in OT. The 2019-20 version of the Cats is not even close to the same team as a year ago. The current Kentucky record is 14-4, 5-1 in the SEC with an ANE of about 0.20 ppp.
Tonight these teams meet in Lubbock for the annual SEC-Big 12 Challenge.
As the number indicate, these teams would have matched up quite well last year even though their paths did not cross in the tournament. However, their respective numbers for the current season also match up quite well, and on Saturday, their paths do collide in Lubbock.
Texas Tech opened the 2019-20 season with 5 wins against an assortment of weak sisters of the poor. Then reality set in with three losses in a row to #20 Iowa by 11, to #44 Creighton by 7, and to #63 Depaul by 5. Then the Red Raiders played one of their strongest games of the year, beating #10 Louisville by 13 and after three more cupcake wins beat #90 Oklahoma State by 35 in their strongest single game of the season. That success was short lived as Texas Tech fell to #6 Baylor by 5 and to #9 West Virginia by 12. The Red Raiders suffered their 6th loss of the season this week, losing to #60 TCU by 11.
Texas Tech’s current ANE is an 0.190 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.032 ppp and a tempo of 69.7 possessions per game. The Cats bring an ANE of 0.204 ppp into this game having played a schedule strength of 0.024 ppp at a tempo of 70.2 possessions per game.
Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 70 possessions with the Cats losing by 3 points, 67-70.