For the first time ever, Texas Tech men’s basketball will receive a visit from ESPN College GameDay when the No. 6 Red Raiders play host to No. 8 Kansas on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
The Red Raiders are 22-6 this season and are one game behind the Jayhawks for a share of the lead in the Big 12 Conference standings, sitting at 10-5 in league play. Needless to say, Texas Tech has earned every ounce of the visit from ESPN — with a national audience tuning in.
And Jay Williams had plenty of excitement to express about the upcoming broadcast.
The ESPN college basketball analyst and member of the College GameDay crew called the show’s visit to Lubbock “a celebration of the program,” according to Rivals.com’s Will McKay.
“It’s a celebration of the program. It’s a Texas Tech infomercial for an hour, which is great from a coaching perspective with bringing a guy like Chris Beard on set. I don’t think the country has been introduced to Texas Tech as much as we can make this happen tomorrow. It’s a chance for (Coach Beard) to expound on his program, his principles, why he thinks he’s different here, talk about his relationships with his players, and also it’s a chance for the world to see the fan base. I’ve seen a lot of games. I know how crazy you guys get here. But, I think for the rest of the country to get to experience that at 10 o’clock in the morning, that’s different.”
Texas Tech’s most recent national exposure of such, at least on-campus, came in Fall 2008 when ESPN’s college football pregame show of the same name visited Lubbock for the Red Raiders’ match-up with No. 1 Texas. Texas Tech won what has become an instant-classic on a final-second touchdown catch by wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Beard is in his second season as the Red Raiders’ coach on the hardwood, and the 2017-18 campaign has been full of highlights for his team. Texas Tech captured its first ever win at Allen Fieldhouse in the team’s first meeting of the season vs. Kansas in January, and went on to post a victory over then-No. 2 West Virginia later that month.
An injury to senior guard Keenan Evans and back-to-back losses at both Baylor and Oklahoma State have put Texas Tech’s hopes of a Big 12 regular season title on the ropes — but the Red Raiders can keep that dream alive with a win over the Jayhawks on Saturday. Kansas is looking to clinch at least a share of the Big 12 regular season crown with a road win in Lubbock.
With ESPN setting up camp earlier in the day on Saturday, Texas Tech fans can expect a rocking atmosphere at United Supermarkets Arena hours before the teams even tip-off. And fans and players alike can only hope that momentum carries over for the Red Raiders once game-time arrives. Texas Tech is a perfect 16-0 at home this season.
ESPN College GameDay will begin its broadcast at 10 a.m. CT. The top-10 showdown between the Red Raiders and Jayhawks is set for a tip-off time of 3:15 p.m. CT. The game will also be televised on ESPN.
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