Today, let’s look back on one of the most memorable games in Texas Tech basketball history, the Red Raiders’ upset No. 2 Kansas in double OT back in 2005.
For all that legendary former Texas Tech basketball head coach Bob Knight did well at Texas Tech, one thing he struggled to do was to beat the top teams in the conference, specifically Kansas and Texas. But on one special night back in 2005, his team stunned the country by taking down the No. 2 Jayhawks in Lubbock, 80-79 in one of the most thrilling games in program history.
Entering the contest, Tech was ranked No. 25 nationally and sat at 15-6 overall. But it had been an up-and-down year to that point despite the excellent record. That’s because already the team had dropped some games that most thought they should have won.
For instance, in the second game of the year, Knight’s team fell flat on its face in an 83-68 loss at TCU. Remember that at that time, the Frogs were not a Big 12 team and were even less significant as a program as they are even now.
Weeks later, Knight’s team would drop consecutive games to his former Big 10 rivals Ohio State and Iowa. Both games were played on neutral sites and both saw the Red Raiders fail to play up to their capability.
But as Big 12 play ramped up, Knight’s team found some consistency. In fact, by the time that this game rolled around, the only three Red Raider conference losses to that point had come to Oklahoma State, Texas, and Iowa State.
On the other side of the ledger was a KU team that was rolling through the Big 12 at a perfect 10-0. In fact, KU was 20-1 overall with that lone loss coming on the road at Villanova.
Thus, most outside of Loop 289 thought that this game was going to be another Kansas walk-over in Lubbock. After all, to that point in Knight’s career, the Red Raiders had struggled against the Jayhawks regardless of where the two teams had met.
In fact, prior to this game, Knight was 0-4 against KU while at Tech. Even worse, the average margin of defeat in those was was a whopping 23.7 points per game.
But something magical was in store on Valentine’s Day 2005 in Lubbock. So let’s go inside the Red Raiders’ historic upset of the Jayhawks because it remains one of the most unforgettable nights in the history of Texas Tech basketball.