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NCAA Basketball Arizona WildcatsTexas Tech Red Raiders

The Wreck ‘Em Gang Cannot Hang Against Arizona

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have gotten off to a white-hot 6-2 start to begin the season. Last season, the Red Raiders only mustered 11 wins. The win-loss record may be pristine, but the quality of opponents has not been.

Texas Tech has a 1-2 record against quality opponents. Their two losses against Alabama and Pittsburgh were both considerably large-margin losses. After the blowout loss to Pittsburgh, the Red Raiders rebounded nicely with a win against Houston. These three opponents may be quality opponents, but none of their previous ones had been ranked.

Tuesday night would be a golden opportunity for the Red Raiders to elevate from pretender to contender status. Texas Tech would have the tall task of taking on the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats on the road. A win or a close contest would be have been a good indicator of whether or not the “Wreck’em Gang” can hang with the upper echelon of college hoops.

After a 79-58 loss, the verdict is still a little muddled. Yes, the Red Raiders technically were blown out on the road. That does not mean the Red Raiders were blown out of the gymnasium. Texas Tech made the game Monday night respectable until the very end.

Arizona tried to step on the throats of the Red Raiders to begin the second half with a 12-4 run, but the Red Raiders kept fighting. The deficit would fluctuate between 10 and 20 throughout the second half, but the Red Raiders still competed against a team that was vastly more talented. The jury is still out on the Red Raiders on whether or not they’re “back,” but Texas Tech might just be on the upswing under head coach Tubby Smith.

Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS and Facebook.