LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech is heading back to the NCAA Tournament where it will take on Utah State in the first round on Friday in Indianapolis. Game locations, times and television designations will be announced when available.
The Red Raiders (17-10) were selected for the third straight NCAA Tournament which is a new program record. TTU is the No. 6 seed in the South Region where they’ll play the No. 11 Aggies who come into the tournament with a 20-8 overall record after going 15-4 in Mountain West play. The TTU-Utah State winner will advance to the second round to play the winner of the No. 3 Arkansas and No 14 Colgate matchup.
This will be the fifth time the programs have met after splitting the previous four with Tech earning a 75-51 win over Utah State on Nov. 23, 2016 in Cancun in the last meeting.
Tech was projected to make last year’s tournament before it was canceled, making this four straight seasons that the program has earned a place in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Chris Beard.
Texas Tech is 8-2 in the NCAA Tournament under Beard with a run to the 2018 Elite 8 and then the 2019 NCAA Championship Final. Both accomplishments were firsts for the program which will make its 18th tournament appearance. This year’s team has been ranked throughout the season, reaching as high as No. 7 in the polls. At No. 20 this week, it is the first season in program history where the team has been ranked in every poll throughout the year.
Mac McClung leads the Red Raiders with 15.7 points per game this season, while Terrence Shannon, Jr. is scoring 12.7 per game. Kevin McCullar and Kyler Edwards are both at 10 points per game to give Tech four double-digit scorers going into the national tournament. Marcus Santos-Silva, who is the lone senior on the team and played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament with VCU, leads TTU with 6.5 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks. Edwards lead Tech with 2.7 assists per game and has the most tournament experience on the team after playing as a freshman during the run to the national championship final. A junior from Arlington, Edwards scored 12 points with two 3-pointers in the title game against Virginia. Avery Benson, Edwards and Santos-Silva are the three players on the TTU roster with tournament experience. Benson was on the Elite 8 team and played in game against Buffalo and Michigan in the 2019 tournament.
All NCAA Tournament games will be played in Indianapolis this year with the First Four games to be played on March 18. The First Round is on March 19-20 followed by the Second Round on March 21-22. Advancing teams will compete in the Sweet 16 on March 27-28 followed by the Elite 8 on March 29-30. The Final Four is set for April 3 before the national championship final on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Tech is making its 18th NCAA Tournament in program history and is 16-19 all-time. The program has made the tournament in 1954, 1956, 1961, 1962, 1973, 1976, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2016, 2018 and 2019. In the past two tournaments no program has won more games with the Red Raiders securing wins in the 2018 NCAA Tournament over SFA, Florida and Purdue to advance to the program’s first Elite 8 before reaching the 2019 NCAA Championship Final with victories over Northern Kentucky, Buffalo, Michigan, Gonzaga and Michigan State in the Final Four.