Texas Tech won’t go into this season unranked.
The Red Raiders are picked No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll following a season where they advanced to the 2019 NCAA National Championship Final and won the Big 12 regular-season championship. Tech was unranked going into last season and comes into this year at No. 13 for the highest preseason ranking in program history. The team returns Davide Moretti, Kyler Edwards and Avery Benson from last year’s historic season along with welcoming in 10 newcomers including graduate transfers TJ Holyfield and Chris Clarke.
After beginning last year unranked, the Red Raiders were at No. 9 in the final AP Top 25 Poll going into the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State begins the 2019-20 season as the top-ranked team in the nation after going 32-7 last year. The Red Raiders ended the Spartan season with a 61-51 in the Final Four semifinals in Minneapolis, Minnesota before taking on Virginia for the title. The Cavaliers, who won the national title with an overtime victory over Tech, begins this season at No. 11. Kentucky is No. 2 in the preseason poll and will visit Lubbock on Jan. 25, 2020 for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, while Kansas is No. 3 in the poll. The Red Raiders have three top-5 teams on their schedule with Louisville coming in at No. 5 in the preseason poll. The Red Raiders and Cardinals will play on Dec. 10 at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Along with Kansas and Texas Tech, the Big 12 is represented by Baylor at No. 16 in the preseason rankings. The Big 12 Preseason Poll was announced last week with Kansas atop the ranking followed by the Bears and Red Raiders.
Texas Tech will open its season with a two-game home stand against Eastern Illinois (Nov. 5) and Bethune-Cookman (Nov. 9) with a pair of 7 p.m. tipoffs at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders bring in a 47-game non-conference home winning streak and are 50-5 in Lubbock under head coach Chris Beard who was named the AP National Coach of the Year last season. The Red Raiders went 31-7 last season for the winningest campaign in program history.
BREAKING: No. 1 Michigan State (@MSU_Basketball) tops AP preseason men’s basketball Top 25 poll; Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Louisville round out top five.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) October 21, 2019