When Chris Beard became the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, he faced the challenge of not only blazing a new recruiting trail in Lubbock but also winning with holdovers from the Tubby Smith years. That came together more quickly than most expected this season.
Beard, a direct descendant of the Bobby Knight coaching tree, has been able to expertly incorporate freshmen such as Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver with veterans such as Keenan Evans and Justin Gray to create arguably the best team in school history. This Texas Tech team produced the program’s most Big 12 wins ever and the most regular-season wins since 1996. The last time the Red Raiders made the NCAA regional round was under Knight. Can Beard take this team even further?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams to help you make smart picks in your bracket.