TEXAS TECH HOSTS K-STATE ON ESPN2
Texas Tech (13-14, 5-9) will have its hands full on Tuesday night against Kansas State (18-9, 8-6) at 6 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena. The Red Raiders will be looking to set a national student attendance record against the Wildcats. There will be more than 30 giveaways for students in attendance, including opportunities to win $10,000. On the game side, Texas Tech has struggled against the Wildcats, as K-State has won eight straight against the Red Raiders. But it has been a season of bucking the norm under first-year head coach Tubby Smith, who has taken down several streaks of futility, including consecutive road loses (13) and consecutive ranked opponent losses (34). A year a go this week, Texas Tech's RPI was No. 221 compared to its current RPI of No. 115. Statistically speaking, the Red Raiders have improved in almost every single category, especially in free throw shooting (7.5 percent increase), points in the paint (school-record 34.6 per game) and turnovers (decreased from 14.7 to 11.8). A win Tuesday for Texas Tech would mean a .500 team this late in the season for the first time since 2011, as well as the opportunity for postseason play and a chance to finish higher than eighth in the Big 12 for the first time 2008.
• Texas Tech is expecting its third consecutive crowd over 10,000 - a feat that has not happened since 2009.
• The Red Raiders have won five Big 12 games for the first time since 2010-11.
• With its win over then No. 25 Oklahoma, the Red Raiders have now defeated three USA Today Top 25 teams this season. The last time Texas Tech defeated three USA Today Top 25 teams in the season was during the 2007-08 season, when the Red Raiders topped No. 10 Texas A&M, 68-63, No. 22 Kansas State, 84-75, and No. 5 Texas, 83-80.
• Texas Tech is also in search of its sixth conference win of the season, which would be the most league wins since 2008.
• Texas Tech is looking to win 14 games in a season for the first time since 2010.
• Texas Tech's RPI of 115 and strength of schedule of 58 are the highest for the Red Raiders since finishing the 2009-10 season with an RPI of 66 and a strength of schedule of 17.
• Texas Tech is 3-10 against RPI Top 50 teams this year and 10-4 against everyone else (51 and above). Has faced RPI Top 50 in seven of the last eight games.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Kansas State is 18-9 overall and 8-6 in Big 12 play, but the Wildcats have gone just 4-3 since Tech's Jan. 28 game in Manhattan. Kansas State has an RPI No. 43. The Wildcats have only won one true road game this season -- at TCU on Jan. 7. Conversly, the Wildcats have won 14 straight inside Bramlage Coliseum. Marcus Foster leads the way for K-State, as the freshman from Wichita Falls Hirshi High School averaged 15.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Thomas Gipson adds 11.7 points and 6.4 boards, while Shane Southwell chipps in 10.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Three of the five starters for Kansas State are natives of the State of Texas -- Foster, Gipson and Wesley Iwundu. Gispon hails from Cedar Hill, while Iwundu is a product of Houston Westfield.
BY THE NUMBERS
Texas Tech is now 1-4 in games decided by five points or less ... Texas Tech is No. 1 (69.3 points) and Kansas State is No. 2 (69.9 points) in scoring defense ... The Red Raiders have won three games in the month of February for the first time since 2010. Texas Tech has not won four conference games in the month of February since going 4-4 in 2008 ... Texas Tech is 12-2 when leading at the half. The Red Raiders only win this season when trailing at the half came at TCU on Jan. 6 ... Texas Tech is 12-1 when leading with 5:00 to play in the game ... The Red Raiders are 7-3 when holding their opponent under 70 points this season ... Texas Tech is averaging 1.07 points per possession. Last season, the Red Raiders averaged 0.94 points per possession. Tech ranks 67th nationally in points per possession. Kansas State ranks 178th at 1.02 points per possession. The Red Raiders are averaging 19.7 seconds per possession, while Kansas State is averaging 18.8 seconds per possession ... The Red Raiders are 5-8 in games decided by 10 points or less this season. Texas Tech has gone 17-23 in games decided by 10 points or less over the previous three seasons. This season, Tech is 4-7 in league games decided by 10 points or less. During the previous three seasons, the Red Raiders were 7-13 during Big 12 play ... Texas Tech had its second largest crowd of the season at 12,667 against Kansas. It is the 35th largest crowd in United Spirit Arena history. Texas Tech also set a new student record with 4,338 students in attendance ... The Red Raiders are expecting a crowd in excess of 10,000 for the third straight game. The last time Texas Tech had three straight crowds over 10,000 was in 2009 against Oklahoma State (10,055 on 02/18/09), Texas A&M (10,055 on 02/21/09) and Oklahoma (11,574 on 02/28/09).