Well, the shops and civilians on Broadway Street in Lubbock, Texas are officially safe after the Red Raiders fell to Virginia last night in the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. As most have seen, Lubbock rioted after the Raider’s semifinal win over Michigan State on Saturday night, including flipping cars and setting fire to couches. Tech’s basketball program was something to be proud of this season and the town fully embraced it, but they fell just short.
The Red Raiders ran adrift in a defensive thriller after Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter hit a corner three-pointer to push the game to overtime. Texas Tech showed immaculate teamwork throughout as five players were in double-digits, but the Cavaliers’ Guy and Hunter were too much to handle defensively. A whopping 51 of the Cavs’ 85 points came from the duo as they each hardly stepped foot off the floor. This performance came after a historical loss last season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where first seeded Virginia lost to 16-seeded UMBC. The stage was set for the Cavs to have their tournament revenge and they capitalized.
Texas Tech will look to regroup after the bitter ending of last night’s game, but many key pieces will be missing come next season. Brandone Francis, Tariq Owens, Matt Mooney, and Norense Odiase are the four seniors leaving Chris Beard’s prodigious program this offseason. Big 12 Player of the Year and a projected lottery pick, Jarrett Culver, is also expected to leave and go to the NBA after a phenomenal season. Davide Moretti and Kyler Edwards will head Beard’s basketball program next season as they stare down another Big 12 Title and deep NCAA Tournament run.