Texas Tech faces Texas with eye toward top-4 finish in Big 12

In a farewell season full of potential final visits, Texas heads to Texas Tech on Tuesday for what figures to be one of its most spirited road games this season.The longtime rivals, who date back to the Southwest Conference, meet for the last time in the regular season as Big 12 Conference foes, and a lively crowd is expected in Lubbock, TexasBoth teams limp into the matchup: The Longhorns, who are headed to the SEC after this season, were humbled at Kansas on Saturday, while the Red Raiders, then No. 23 but now out of the Top 25, lost 75-61 at UCF.Texas Tech (19-8, 8-6 Big 12), which has been a surprise team under first-year coach Grant McCasland, is in a three-way tie for fourth in the conference. Emerging from that knot is important because the top four teams bypass the first two rounds of the Big 12 Tournament.The Red Raiders, who are 14-1 at home this season, play three straight games against teams with sub-.500 league records, starting with the Longhorns (17-10, 6-8).The loss to UCF dimmed Texas Tech’s flickering hopes for a Big 12 championship. The Red Raiders played without Chance McMillian (sore hip), who averages 10.1 points per game. There was no update on his status for Tuesday.The Red Raiders struggled in two areas of usual strength Saturday: They made only 8-of-28 3-pointers and 13-of-20 free throws. The Knights also outscored them 32-12 in the paint.”Ultimately, in these games, we need to make 3s and counterpunch,” McCasland said. “We weren’t able to do that. UCF had a lot to do with that. Their defense caused us problems, and we had problems keeping them out of the paint. Their length and athleticism caused us problems all night.”