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How to watch BYU vs. Texas Tech in Big 12 tournament quarterfinals

Texas Tech's guard Pop Isaacs (2) plays defense on BYU guard Spencer Johnson (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Lubbock, Texas.

No. 20 BYU (22-9) vs. No. 25 Texas Tech (22-9)

Tip: Thursday, 10:30 a.m. MDT.

Venue: T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

TV: ESPN2.

Livestream: WatchESPN.

Radio: 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

Series: BYU leads, 3-2.

The trends

For BYU: The Cougars (23-9, 11-8) are the No. 5 seed in the Big 12 tournament and are coming off a second-round victory over UCF. Winners of four of their last five games, the Cougars have an impressive résumé that includes a NET ranking of 12. BYU is 6-7 against Quad 1 opponents, 5-2 against Quad 2 opponents, and an undefeated 12-0 against Quad 3 and Quad 4 opponents.

For Texas Tech: The Red Raiders (22-9, 11-7) defeated No. 11 Baylor in the second round of the Big 12 tournament Wednesday, and have won four of their last six games, including three straight. Texas Tech is one of seven Big 12 teams ranked in the top 30 of NET, and moved up to No. 29 after topping the Bears.

Quotable

“We had some good fortune and some good ball movements. The guys came out on attack from the beginning of the game, and played on their toes like we talk about every day.” — BYU coach Mark Pope.

“What I love about our team right now is they want to win. Nobody is out there playing the game to see how they can benefit from it individually, and you can see the collective joy that our guys are playing with. Everybody is taking accountability for the mistakes they make and everybody is trying to do their role as best as they can to help each other win. That’s postseason basketball. That’s how you win. So judging by our love for each other, I would say we’re ready.” — Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland.

The stakes

For BYU: The Cougars are, at this point, a guaranteed NCAA Tournament team. Most projections put them around a No. 5 seed in the Big Dance. Winning the Big 12 tournament in their first year in the league would be memorable, but the tourney offers little more than bragging rights, barring an unexpected deep run by BYU.

For Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are also projected to be an NCAA Tournament team, anywhere from a No. 5 to a No. 8 seed. A deep run in the conference tournament would seal a better seeding — and destination for the opening weekend of the Big Dance — to say nothing of a return to form for a Red Raiders program that played for the Big 12 championship in 2022.

Players to watch

For BYU: Come the postseason, guards take on a greater significance. It has been that way for years now. As such, Cougars point guard Dallin Hall projects as the player to watch for BYU. Against UCF, Hall was under control and finished with 13 points and four assists, though he also had three turnovers. Limiting the turnovers will be the emphasis for Hall against Texas Tech and a big game from the Fremont High product should mean a positive result for the Cougars.

For Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have a pair of notable guards in Pop Issacs and Joe Toussaint. Issacs has been the better scorer — averaging a team-high 16 points per game — while Toussaint has been the better facilitator — 4.4 assists per game. And yet neither may be the player to watch. That honor should go to Darrion Willams. Shooting is the most important thing come March and Williams is a knockdown 3-point shooter (47.1%). If he’s on, Texas Tech is in great position to win.