Tennessee vs. Texas Tech probably wasn’t the worst college basketball game of all-time, but if there’s an uglier game than this season than the one the Vols and Red Raiders played on Tuesday night, we’ll be shocked. Texas Tech defeated No. 13 Tennessee, 57-52, in overtime in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. MSG has seen plenty of bad basketball hosting the New York Knicks for the last 20 years, but the futile offensive display in this game might be a new low.
The teams combined to shoot 28.8 percent from the field. They shot a combined 10-of-63 from three-point range. At one point, Tennessee missed 18 straight threes. Texas Tech went on a 7:38 field goal drought in the second half — that ended on a goaltend! — and still won.
The game hit rock bottom late in the second half when Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James had a breakaway layup, and botched it in unbelievable fashion.
Texas Tech vs Tennessee has reached “so bad it’s good” levels pic.twitter.com/gC48QN2REn— Anthony Riccobono (@Tony_Riccobono) December 8, 2021
Don’t worry, James wasn’t hurt. He hit a clutch three-pointer with 33 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Fans in the arena reportedly booed when the buzzer sounded for overtime. No one could take any more of this game. At least James got his redemption after such a brutal layup attempt.
Josiah-Jordan James clutch 3 to force OT for Tennessee! pic.twitter.com/LWNNLGThQI— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) December 8, 2021
Just so we’re clear: both of these teams are absolutely elite defensively. The Vols currently rank No. 1 in the country in defensive efficiency, and Texas Tech is No. 4. Each of these programs has a reputation for defensive dominance, but even that shouldn’t cause both teams to combine for sub 30 percent shooting.
Don’t take it from me — take it from Rick Barnes:
“I don’t know if we can be any worse on offense and we were in the game,” coach Rick Barnes said. “One or two more and maybe we would have got the lid off it it.”
Texas Tech is now 7-1 and could break into the top-25 next week. Chris Beard is gone, but the Red Raiders still bring the heat defensively led by long-time assistant Mark Adams. Believe it or not, Texas Tech actually ranks No. 33 in the country offensively.
Both of these teams could easily make the NCAA tournament by the end of the year. Let’s just agree to never talk about this game again.