KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas Tech made it look easy, blowing out Iowa State, 72-41, in the final Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday night.
The Red Raiders (24-8) will face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The Sooners upset No. 2 seeded Baylor earlier on Thursday.
The matchup of first-time Big 12 Tournament head coaches went to Texas Tech’s Mark Adams, whose Red Raiders outplayed T.J. Otzelberger’s Cyclones all night.
How easy was it? The Red Raiders were up 39-20 at halftime, thanks to their own great shooting (55 percent) and Iowa State’s poor shooting (less than 30 percent). Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. had one of those games Red Raiders fans have gotten used to, as he finished with 15 points. Adonis Arms had 10 points, and his buzzer-beater at halftime was overruled since the ball didn’t leave his hand before time expired.
It was about the only thing that went wrong for the Red Raiders, as Tech started the second half on a 6-0 run, pushing their lead to 45-20, and never looked back. Kevin McCullar had 11 points and Kevin Obanor added 10 points.
Both Iowa State (20-12) and Texas Tech appear to be on solid ground for the NCAA Tournament, but certainly their seeding could be impacted by what happens in Kansas City. Going into Thursday’s game, the Red Raiders were considered to be a No. 3 seed and the Cyclones were considered to be a No. 9 seed in ESPN Bracketology.
Both teams were also trying to regain some footing after stumbling down the stretch of Big 12 play. The Red Raiders lost two of their last three games, falling to TCU and Oklahoma State. Iowa State lost its last two games to Oklahoma State and Baylor, which followed a four-game winning streak.
The Red Raiders found that balance. The Cyclones, now losers of three straight, have a week to figure out some answers to their struggling offense before the NCAA Tournament.
The normally explosive Izaiah Brockington had just seven points for the Cyclones, as the Red Raiders held him to 3-of-16 shooting from the floor. Big 12 Freshman of the Year Tyrese Hunter was more productive with nine points and two assists. But he wasn’t nearly enough to help the Cyclones close the gap to even single digits.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.