The Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders will meet for the second and final time in the regular season on Saturday night. We got together with Viva The Matadors writer Hunter Cooke to talk Red Raider and Cowboy basketball. Here are his answers to our questions:
1. Are you convinced that TTU will find its way to the NCAA Tourney? If so, what do you think their highest possible seed is?
I’m delusionally pessimistic when it comes to sports, and even I am saying we get in without a doubt. I don’t think we make it in at higher than a 10 seed, however.
2. The Red Raiders have now defeated three ranked opponents in a row. Is there any chance that they would (for some inexplicable reason) slow down versus the Cowboys?
Oh absolutely. This is Texas Tech. It’s a state of Techness that seeps into all sports. The unpredictableness is part of our charm, but it’s also part of our downfall.
3. Who would you say are the players to watch out for? The Raiders received great performances against OU from Aaron Ross and Keenan Evans. Do you expect similar performances from that duo specifically?
Toddrick Gotcher, affectionately known on VTM as “The Toddfather” is a guy to look out for. He won’t jump out on the stat sheet, but he’ll work his butt off until the last whistle blows. I don’t expect great performances from them specifically, but I do expect someone to step up. We always have at least one person who has a whale of a game.
4. What do you think is the X factor for this game between the Cowboys and TTU? Will it have a similar result to their first meeting in early February?
I sure hope it isn’t similar, these overtime/close games are taking weeks off of my life. I think the X-Factor is Zach Smith. He’s a young dude that can provide serious momentum with his impact plays.
5. The Raiders haven't had a winning season since 2009 (19-16). Why do you think they have performed so well this year? Will this be the new standard for Red Raider basketball?
It’s all Tubby Smith. The changes that he brought to this team are nothing short of incredible. I really think this is going to be the new standard, although I’ve been very wrong while betting on Texas Tech sports before.
Bonus -- What's your favorite place to eat in Lubbock?
One Guy’s From Italy. Ridiculously good house calzones for $6. Can’t beat it.