Mark Adams said on Monday that the Big 12 is the ‘toughest conference in the country’ in response to Texas Tech moving into the Top 25 for the first time this season.
Adams, the Texas Tech head coach, spoke to the Lubbock media just a few minutes after the AP Top 25 came out on Monday, and the Red Raiders — who upset No. 13 Tennessee at the Jimmy V Classic last week — were No. 25. It’s the first time the Red Raiders have been ranked in the AP Top 25 since Mark Adams took over as head coach.
Baylor, meanwhile, moved up to No. 1 in the country. Kansas was No. 7, Iowa State was No. 11 and Texas was No. 17. Oklahoma and West Virginia are both receiving votes.
“We just found out it five minutes ago, and it’s not something that I put a lot of emphasis on, but it’s good for our fans, it’s good for Red Raider nation and I think it’s good for the Big 12,” Adams said on Monday. “I understand we have five teams ranked in the Top 25. It just tells you, again, just how tough this Big 12 is. Every year we see the same story, that we feel the Big 12 is the toughest conference in the country. I’ve been with this team, in this Big 12, I guess going on seven years or eight now, and I think it’s the toughest we’ve ever seen the Big 12, top to bottom. I’m really impressed with how these Big 12 teams are playing against other conferences. They’re getting better every day like we are. So it’s going to be dogfight come January.”
The Big 12 is 2-1 against AP Top 10 teams this season and is 7-4 against AP Top 25 teams. The Big 12 is 20-8 combined against the ACC, the Big East, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 and the SEC, and its .714 win percentage is the best among the group against each other, per the Big 12.
The Big 12 is coming off a week in which it went 4-1 against ranked teams. West Virginia hosted No. 15 UConn and won, 56-53. Oklahoma beat No. 12 Arkansas by 22 points in a neutral site game, and No. 2 Baylor hosted and defeated No. 6 Villanova, 57-36.
The Red Raiders are back home to face Arkansas State on Tuesday. But the Red Raiders get another shot at a ranked opponent when they face No. 5 Gonzaga at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix on Saturday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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