Beyond the mass of Texas Tech fans losing their minds on the court, down the hallway past Kliff Kingsbury and behind the locker room door, the Red Raiders were going nuts.
After the dancing and the dabbing had settled down, Tubby Smith had a message for his team after upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma 65-63.
“We’re not overachieving, fellows,” the Texas Tech coach said. “This is where we belong.”
And the Red Raiders continue to prove it.
Holding onto a two-point lead over the third ranked team in the nation, Texas Tech still had to get a defensive stop against the best offensive team in the conference.
Sooner guard Isaiah Cousins misfired on an alley-oop, and Ryan Spangler missed the put back before Toddrick Gotcher pulled down the rebound to seal the 65-63 victory for the Red Raiders.
Tubby Smith said advancing to the postseason “was” one of the goals for Texas Tech.
“Was” would have been the case, if the Red Raiders hadn’t unseated back-to-back AP Top 25 teams for the first time since 2007 last week.
The Texas Tech coach quickly corrected himself.
“That IS one of our goals,” he said.
This time a year ago, postseason play wasn’t an option.
The Red Raider coaching staff felt like they were still on track, as long as their players kept believing.
WACO — Keenan Evans put on a show.
If anyone thought he was just the 31 percent 3-point shooter who banked one in against Iowa State, they aren’t thinking that now.
After putting up 17 points in Texas Tech’s win over No. 14 Iowa State earlier this week, Evans’ 21 points, five assists and four steals led the way as the Red Raiders defeated No. 21 Baylor 84-66 Saturday night at Ferrell Center.
“I’m just trying to be more aggressive overall,” Evans said. “I also wanted to find my teammates and get them open.”
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: TEXAS TECH AT NO. 21 BAYLOR, 7 P.M. SATURDAY, WACO (ESPNU)
As Tubby Smith put it best, the Red Raiders don’t have a “snowball’s chance in hell” at making the NCAA Tournament if they don’t get better every day.
“When you go back and look at film and evaluate where your team is and where they’ve come from, I feel good about what we’ve been doing,” Smith said. “I’m pleased with the way we’ve been progressing. Coming off a big win against Iowa State, our guys seem to be invigorated and fired up.”
After breaking his fourth metatarsal on his right foot three weeks ago, sophomore center Norense Odiase is no longer wearing a hard cast.
Now, he is in a boot and walking on his own.
"They say he’s progressing well," Tech coach Tubby Smith said. "He’s still on track. They like the way he’s healing. They took him out of the hard cast and put him in a boot so now he can just walk. That’s a real positive sign. I’m not sure when we’ll get him back. If anybody can get back and get ready, Norense can."
Q: When you dunk, whether in pregame, during a game or in a competition, at what point do you know that you just did something absurd?
A: I think it’s mainly the teammates’ reaction because they do see a lot of what happens every day. If they do give a reaction, you know it was something that maybe they weren’t expecting.
Q: How do you prepare what you’re going to do when you get ready for a dunk contest?
With two seconds left on the shot clock and the game tied at 80, Keenan Evans caught the inbounds pass and put up a prayer a yard inside the halfcourt line.
The basketball banked in off the backboard to give the Red Raiders a three-point edge with 95 seconds to go in overtime.
“No I didn’t (call bank),” Evans said, laughing. I called ‘make.’ ”
From that point on, Texas Tech never trailed again as the Red Raiders defeated No. 14 Iowa State 85-82 in overtime.
NO. 14 IOWA STATE AT TEXAS TECH
8 P.M. WEDNESDAY, ESPNU
Attacking the basket
With Iowa State center Jameel McKay expected to be out for Wednesday’s contest, the Red Raiders are aware of the opportunities that presents.
“They lose a very energetic player and a great shot blocker at the rim,” sophomore forward Zach Smith said.
Earlier this season, McKay finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks against Texas Tech in Ames.