No. 5 Gonzaga has impressive victories on its resume against Texas and UCLA that have shown the Bulldogs are again a national force this season, but they will need to beat No. 25 Texas Tech on Saturday to avoid a three-game losing streak against power conference opponents. The Red Raiders, who jumped into the AP Top 25 after a win against Tennessee last week, will be no pushover as they enter with one of the best defensive units in the country so far this season.
A win over the preseason No. 1 Bulldogs would only further validate that Texas Tech is poised to remain a force in the Big 12 and a player on the national scene under first-year coach Mark Adams. The Red Raiders are off to an 8-1 start under Adams, thanks to a group of transfers who have paired with returners Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon, who opted to remain at TTU and play for Adams, who was elevated following former coach Chris Beard’s exit for Texas.
The WCC is stronger than usual this season, and Gonzaga will have plenty of chances to refine its identity in league play. But after losses to Duke on Nov. 26 and Alabama on Dec. 4, the Bulldogs could use a jolt in their final regular season game against a power conference foe.
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Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech prediction, picks
Featured Game | Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech turned in one of the best defensive efforts of the season by any team in a 57-52 overtime win over Tennessee at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7. Facing Gonzaga will present a totally different dynamic for the Red Raiders, however, as the Bulldogs’ twin towers of Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren will test the Red Raiders’ front line. It’s been nearly two weeks since Gonzaga lost to Alabama in Seattle, and you can bet coach Mark Few will have his time operating at a much higher level now as the Bulldogs play their final regular season game against a power conference opponent. Prediction: Gonzaga 86, Texas Tech 76
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