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Kansas Stunned by Texas Tech Behind Balanced Offensive Attack

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 02:  Udoka Azubuike #35 of the Kansas Jayhawks shoots as Brandone Francis #1 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders defends during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 2, 2018 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No. 18 Texas Tech jumped out to a hot start and never trailed in an 85-73 road upset over No. 10 Kansas Tuesday night.

The Red Raiders dominated on the glass, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds while winning the battle of the boards 44-29. Adding in five players finishing in double figures helped them improve to 13-1 on the year, including back-to-back wins over ranked Big 12 opponents.

Devonte' Graham had 27 points and six assists for Kansas, but the rest of the squad couldn't keep up in a disappointing loss.

The March Madness account noted the surprise struggles at Phog Allen Fieldhouse:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

TEXAS TECH WINS AT THE PHOG! No. 18 Red Raiders beat No. 10 Kansas, 85-73, handing the Jayhawks their second loss at Allen Fieldhouse in a single season for the first time since 2006-07. https://t.co/tF3HDZyMtg

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self Last 3 games: 1-2 Previous 235 games: 225-10 https://t.co/XYws7bYZug

The Jayhawks also lost to Arizona State at home last month.

One of the major issues was the outside shooting with the squad finishing just 6-of-26 from the field, although Texas Tech wasn't much better at 6-of-24. However, the inability to recover from a sluggish start was apparent.

The Red Raiders went up 17-5 in the first few minutes and led by 11 at halftime.

Rob Dauster of NBC Sports noted the issue for Kansas:

Rob Dauster @RobDauster

An underrated issue for Kansas is the lack of leadership and toughness on this roster. Frank Mason and Josh Jackson were bulldogs, alphas, pick your cliché. They don't have anyone like that this year. Their body language tonight screams "We ain't coming back."

Every time the team tried to make a comeback, Texas Tech came through with a big play. This dunk from Zhaire Smith quieted the crowd and kept the visitors in control:

Texas Tech Basketball @TexasTechMBB

HELLO, ZHAIRE. #WreckEm #SCTop10 https://t.co/uNFV4JyYV3

Keenan Evans also showed his toughness in this one, even on a night where he struggled with his shot. He finished 4-of-16 from the field, including 0-of-4 from three-pointer, but still led the way with 15 points in the win.

The victory was important for Texas Tech, not only in adding a win for the conference standings but also providing its legitimacy for the season. After going 18-14 in Chris Beard's first year with the program, the team is now a serious contender in the Big 12. The group has seven straight victories, three of those over ranked opponents.

While Top 10 opponents like Oklahoma and West Virginia were once terrifying, they could be exciting battles in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Kansas could be in trouble with an upcoming road battle with No. 16 TCU on Saturday.

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