The Texas Tech basketball team continues to rise in the national polls checking in at No. 13 this week after beating Memphis on Saturday.

For the second-consecutive week, the Texas Tech basketball team finds itself in the top-25.  Following Saturday’s comeback win over Memphis in Miami, the Red Raiders are ranked at No. 13 in both the Associated Press and Coach’s Poll, which were released Monday.

This constitutes a seven-spot jump in the AP poll and a six-spot improvement in the Coach’s poll.  At 7-0, Texas Tech is one of only 11 remaining unbeaten teams in the nation and joins Kansas as the only Big 12 teams without a blemish on the season.

And the nation is beginning take take notice of what Chris Beard and his team are accomplishing.  In the latest NCAA NET rankings (which replaces the old RPI system), Texas Tech is No. 5 in the nation behind only Virginia, Gonzaga, Michigan and Duke.

The Red Raiders find themselves at No. 10 in the ESPN Power Rankings and at No. 13 in Sports Illustrated’s Power Rankings.  Meanwhile, our friends at Busting Brackets rank Tech No. 2 in their Big 12 rankings and consider the Red Raiders a legitimate threat to end Kansas’ 14-year run of Big 12 regular season championships.

“Even though it’s just one month into the season, it’s amazing how similar this season’s team looks compared to the one prior. Like Keenan Evans, sophomore Jarrett Culver has positioned himself as a clear Big 12 Player of the Year candidate…” writes Tristan Freeman.

Naturally, this hot start has improved the Red Raiders projections for making the NCAA Tournament after beginning the season as a fringe tournament team.  The computer analytics at TeamRankings.com now have Texas Tech as the top No. 3 seed in the field and having a 93% chance of earning a bid to the Big Dance.

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The Red Raiders got a boost this week when Nebraska made its first appearance of the season in the top 25.  After knocking off Illinois and Clemson last week, the Huskers are now 7-1 and ranked 24th in the nation making Tech’s 70-52 win over the Huskers in Kansas City all the more valuable.

The other team Texas Tech beat in the Hall of Fame Classic, USC, looked like it was on the verge of a potential top-10 upset Saturday.  Leading No. 6 Nevada 35-34 at halftime, the Trojans collapsed in the second half just like they did against the Red Raiders falling to the Wolf Pack 73-61 at home.

The Red Raiders are one of just three Big 12 teams to be in this week’s polls after a rough week for the conference.  Kansas State comes in at No. 16, down four spots after falling 83-71 to Marquette.

Meanwhile, the Texas Longhorns dropped out of the rankings after being at No. 17 last week.  After beating No. 14 North Carolina on November 22nd, the Horns have lost two-straight games falling to No. 10 Michigan State on the road and dropping a stunner to Radford in Austin.

As for the Red Raiders, they return to the court Wednesday to take on 2-5 Arkansas Pine Bluff at United Spirit Arena.  Tech then faces Northwestern State on 12/12 and Abilene Christian on 12/15 before heading to New York City to face No. 3 Duke on 12/20.

Next: Basketball blows past Memphis in second half

Should the Red Raiders take care of business in its next three games, the showdown with Duke could be a top-10 match-up and the most anticipated non-conference game the program has ever seen.  As the focus of the entire fan base has been on the football program’s firing of Kliff Kingsbury and subsequent hiring of Matt Wells, Chris Beard and his basketball team continue to prove that they are once again going to make Lubbock a basketball town this winter.

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