Friday , Mar , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Texas and Texas Tech meet in Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals

(Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns begin their run at the
Big 12 Conference Tournament title this afternoon when they clash with the
Texas Tech Red Raiders in the quarterfinal round from American Airlines Center
in Dallas. The Longhorns were predicted to be one of the top teams in the
nation since day one of the 2005-06 season, and the squad did not
disappoint, going 25-5 with a 13-3 mark in conference. Texas closed the
season tied with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings, but due to tiebreakers
the Longhorns were awarded the top seed in this event. A victory over
Oklahoma on the final day of the regular season gave Texas a share of the
title. It is just the second Big 12 title for the Longhorns, who also won the
regular-season crown in 1998-99.

As for the Red Raiders, they defeated Kansas State, 73-65, in the opening
round of the tournament to advance to today’s quarterfinal round. Despite
the win, it has been a long season for Bob Knight’s squad, as Texas Tech is
just 15-16 on the year and closed out the regular season with a four-game
skid. Texas has already defeated Texas Tech twice this season, winning by
34 points in the first meeting and 21 in the second. Overall, the Longhorns
hold a 64-52 edge over the Red Raiders in the all-time series.

Texas Tech’s main problem this season was inconsistency. Defensively, the
team is allowing 68.3 ppg, but the squad never put forth the same effort in
every contest, which is why it is currently a game below .500. It was more of
the same at the offensive end, as the Red Raiders come into this matchup
producing just 68.3 ppg, while shooting 44.0 percent from the field. Tech is
led by Jarrius Jackson, who is averaging a Big 12-best 20.3 ppg. Martin Zeno
has also had a solid season for Texas Tech, scoring 14.0 ppg, while averaging
5.3 rpg.

In their recent victory over Kansas State, the Red Raiders shot 47.1 percent
from the floor and connected on 20-of-26 shots from the foul line. Jackson
led the way with 21 points, while Zeno added 17 points. Tanner Ogden
contributed 14 points, and Darryl Dora chipped in 12 points to go with nine
rebounds.

The Longhorns have been one of the most complete teams in the nation this
season, and they come into this matchup surrendering just 58.8 ppg while
producing 76.4 ppg, which turns out to a +17.7 ppg margin. Defensively, Texas
is holding opponents to a lackluster 37.6 percent shooting effort from the
field, and an even worse 31.1 percent from behind the arc.

The Longhorns are just as solid at the offensive end, as P.J. Tucker leads
an offense. During the regular season, Tucker averaged 16.1 ppg, while
collecting 9.0 rpg. Tucker also recorded 79 assists and 57 steals. LaMarcus
Aldridge and Daniel Gibson were also outstanding this year, as Aldridge
averaged 15.4 ppg to go along with 8.9 rpg and a team-high 59 blocks, and
Gibson posted 13.8 ppg and 93 assists. Brad Buckman rounds out the unit’s
double-figure scorers, producing 10.3 ppg.

TEXAS TEXASTECH