Texas Tech fans go from euphoria to dejection at schools national championship watch party in Lubbock – Dallas News

Texas Tech fans go from euphoria to dejection at school\s national championship watch party in Lubbock - Dallas News
How one controversial call swung NCAA tournament title game
Dejected Texas Tech Red Raiders fans late in overtime in the Final Four championship game of the NCAA mens college basketball tournament at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Monday, April 8, 2019. Texas Tech Red Raiders lost to the Virginia Cavaliers 85-77 in overtime. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

LUBBOCK — When it was all over late Monday, Texas Tech fans attending the schools official national championship watch party at United Supermarkets Arena stood with their hearts sinking into their guts, absorbing the finality.

The Cavaliers’ best players all had their moments as Hunter scored 27 points, Kyle Guy 24 points, and Ty Jerome 16. Against the normally withering Texas Tech defense, Virginia connected on 45.8 percent of its 3-pointers. The Cavaliers were also outstanding at the free throw line, making 20 of 23, including 14 straight in overtime.

Moments earlier theyd been jumping and dancing closer and closer to the court, eyes locked on the four-sided jumbotron broadcasting the action in Minneapolis, so close to euphoria.

Tech’s defense still gave Virginia problems as the Cavaliers found themselves frequently trying to find a good shot as the shot clock neared zero. That could have adversely affected them but, in this game, there were more possessions than a usual Virginia game and it gave the Cavaliers enough chances to prevail.

But Virginia hit a 3 to tie it, forcing overtime, then pulled away, preventing the Red Raiders from capturing their first NCAA mens basketball title.

The deficits were the result of the struggles of Tech’s best offensive players, Jarrett Culver (15 points on 5-for-22 shooting) and Matt Mooney (10 points). Instead, bench players Brandone Francis (17 points) and Kyler Edwards (12 points) led the comebacks.

“We are definitely heartbroken,” said junior Corey May, of Fort Worth. “Just unbelievable – honestly, its kind of like it hasnt hit me. We came so far, we had such a great season. To come up this short …

The Cavaliers began as a No. 1 seed, but struggled throughout the tournament, escaping with last-second victories over Purdue and Auburn. Their slow pace of play at times seemed like a detriment. It was not last night.

“I leave here with a headache, screaming so much. I know they [the players] were giving it their all and we were cheering, giving it our all.”

It set the stage for a great finish and nearly an improbable championship for Texas Tech, a school with no basketball tradition that has become a contender behind the defensive philosophy of coach Chris Beard.

Yes, A Texas Tech Fan Threw A Tortilla On The Court During The National Championship

Instead of students and revelers spilling out onto campus from their partying at nearby establishments like Chimys and Crickets, Memorial Circle remained quiet.

Virginia prevailed in overtime, 85-77, getting several clutch plays from its top player, De’Andre Hunter. Hunter struggled in the first half, but in the most important times, he came through.

A helicopter whirled above the intersection of Broadway Ave. and University Ave., the area where some of the celebrating had gotten out of hand after the national semifinal victory over Michigan State on Saturday. An overturned car and a burning pile of Lime electric scooters had contributed to authorities resorting to tear gas then.

Fans around town Monday predicted a rowdy night, win or lose. But University and local authorities mobilized beforehand in an attempt to keep the partying under control.

Like Texas Techs Final Four game, Mahomes was joined at the game by teammate Travis Kelce, who had no rooting interest in the game as a Cincinnati alum. Judging by the drink in hand, hes just there to support his friend and have a good time.

“Be good Lubbock, our brothers in blue will be watching tonight!” Lubbock Fire tweeted shortly before tip-off.

Of course, Mahomes probably wanted to wear Texas Tech gear during the game, and that presented a small problem. Texas Tech is an Under Armour school, but Mahomes has an endorsement deal with rival Adidas.

The thud of an ending comes after the tough-nosed teams NCAA run enthralled this West Texas community.

Energy in town built as tip-off neared. By 3 p.m. on a hot afternoon, a curving line of patrons had formed outside Chimys Cerveceria, waiting to be allowed inside when it opened at 4 p.m.

That includes Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former Red Raider Patrick Mahomes, who was in Minnesota to personally cheer on his alma mater.

Students and fans are already lined up to get into Chimys Cerveceria in Lubbock. The bar usually opens at 11 a.m. but not letting patrons in til 4 today. People I talked with think its going to be crazy again tonight, win or lose, but hope more controlled. pic.twitter.com/4nMAj6G9DR

Texas Tech drops National Championship to Virginia

“Tech made it to the national championship game, something that we have never done before in our program,” said Nathan Treibly, a senior from Midlothian who was near the front of the line. “Either way, Im just proud of our boys, and Im just happy that were here and we get to experience this.”

“Zion Williamson has been such an incredible player to watch. You might not expect certain teams to go out of the tournament when they do or to make it as far as they do, but that’s part of the magic of the NCAA tournament,” Campbell said.

Treibly and several of his friends had voiced optimism that the Red Raiders would be able defeat the Cavaliers, billed as a rugged defensive showdown. They loved how the program has developed under coach Chris Beard. They said the team suits Tech – the Red Raiders were picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 this season and arent loaded with players who were the highest-rated recruits.

“You just never think that something that started off as something so seemingly small and just in our little world of sports television would take on this cultural meaning,” said Alanna Campbell, One Shining Moment producer.

Later at the arena, fans wearing Scarlet and Black and a couple Patrick Mahomes jerseys – in tribute of the former Tech quarterback who is the reigning NFL MVP – filled most of the lower bowl. They sweated and screamed, living and dying with almost every moment from the CBS pregame show on.

The music is unmistakable. Year after year, the most dramatic moments of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament play out to a song scribbled on a bar napkin in the mid-80s.

— Texas Techs loss to Virginia the latest chapter in its states struggle to capture mens basketball glory

“You’re basically binge watching basketball for three weeks and making sure you can tell the story of everything you just saw in three minutes,” Campbell said.

— National reaction to NCAA championship game: Texas Tech fights to end, falls in OT after controversial call vs. Virginia

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s the song that brings many to tears. The iconic “One Shining Moment” captures the culmination of three weeks of basketball.

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“In those last moments you have to just be prepared for whatever can happen and you have to let the game dictate the piece,” Campbell said.

— Texas Tech fans go from euphoria to dejection at schools national championship watch party in Lubbock

“It’s not always the right angle. It’s not always the perfect shot, but if it tells the story you go with it,” Campbell said.

— Photos: Texas Tech players shed tears following national championship loss to Virginia, Patrick Mahomes shows support for his alma mater

Virginia Cavaliers guard Kyle Guy (5) grabs the ball after Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney loses lost control of it as he drove to the net during the first half of the NCAA Championship game Monday, April 8, 2019 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Students, community members watch National Championship on Texas Techs home court

Thats the question that will hang over Texas Tech in the wake of a bizarre sequence in overtime that indelibly changed the momentum of the Red Raiders in their 85-77 loss to Virginia. With 1:06 remaining in overtime in one of the greatest NCAA championships ever played, the correct call by definition on a replay review of an out-of-bounds decision robbed the end of overtime from the rich drama that preceded it.

According to the AP, the tortillas started to fly at U.S. Bank Stadium — with one hitting the floor — causing the championship to come to a halt after the Red Raiders went on a 19-4 run to put the team up 25-21 in the first half. 

These Teams Are Playing For All The Tortillas

In an NCAA tournament where trips to the monitor have been so ubiquitous that its surprising the NCAA hasnt sold them to a corporate sponsor —The Orange Vanilla Coke Review — the proper call by the officials appeared to be the wrong call in reality. Bad call, man, said Texas Tech senior Brandone Francis. Bad call. Terrible call.

Its no surprise to Texas Tech fans to see a tortilla litter their football games and the tradition traveled with them to the NCAA national championship game where Tech faced No. 1 Virginia in its first championship appearance.

With Virginia leading by two points, a missed shot was tipped from the front court toward the half-court line. Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti sprinted between two Virginia players to corral the ball just past half court and clearly held possession. He took one dribble near the free-throw line and appeared to get fouled from behind by Virginias Kyle Guy before Cavs forward DeAndre Hunter stripped the ball from him and deflected it out of bounds.

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Officials initially ruled the ball should go to Texas Tech, which no one would have disagreed with after Guys bump and Hunters swipe. Its the type of wink-and-nod officiating that happens everywhere from CYO ball to the NBA. Officials dont want to call a superfluous foul that could change the momentum of the game so they simply give possession to the team that had the ball. No one would have disagreed if that happened here.

NCAA title game stopped briefly because a tortilla got launched into the court from the Texas Tech student section. Not the first to fly and now security is starting to confiscate a bunch. pic.twitter.com/q18K93dTp4

But after a lengthy review, the officials ruled that the ball went off Moretti. They overturned a call that they make on an inbound, Moretti said at his locker after the game. I think it was a big-time moment for deciding the game.

The tradition has remained a constant. It is common to see tortillas more so at football games, being thrown at the opening kickoff and occasionally during touchdowns. 

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The Texas Tech players and staff were clear that they werent blaming the game on the officials. It was a wondrous, taut, back-and-forth battle with myriad lead changes and momentum swings. We are a no-excuse program, Moretti said. We lost the game in other aspects of the game.

— Photos: Texas Tech players shed tears following national championship loss to Virginia, Patrick Mahomes shows support for his alma mater

But there was a lingering feeling in the Tech locker room that the Red Raiders should have kept the ball, as officials initially ruled. Tech was down 75-73 with just over a minute remaining and had a chance to tie or take the lead. In the Tech huddle, coaches were unsure whod get the ball so they went over both offensive and defensive options out of the timeout. Jarrett Culver said the referees decision caught us off guard, and the momentum of the game never swung back to Tech.

They didnt call the foul, Moretti said. I wasnt looking for the foul. I was looking for the possession because the guy literally took the ball from my hands and put it out of bounds. I was pretty confident the ball was [ours], but they overturned it. I guess I was wrong.

Francis appeared on the cusp of teeing off on officials, but held back. Yeah man, Im done playing college basketball, so I can probably say it, he said, but I dont want to say nothing.

The play clearly swung momentum, as Tech never cut the game back to one possession and Virginia ran away in the final minute. The replay freeze-framed to the millisecond to where the ball appeared off Moretti. It was a call that wouldnt have been made with the naked eye, nor would it have been the preference of officials to have Texas Tech turn the ball over on a play where Moretti was hit hard enough by Guy that he lurched forward. That allowed Hunter to come in and dislodge the ball.

Patrick Mahomes lets out a yell but his Red Raiders fall in national title game

It probably knocked a little bit out of us emotionally, Texas Tech assistant coach Glynn Cyprien said. I thought it set us back a little bit. But we talk about one play not determining the outcome of the game. Wed like to think that one didnt as well.

Moretti was more upset about a phantom call on him earlier in overtime when Guy tripped over teammate Mamadi Diakite — both stumbled in opposite directions on contact — in the deep corner and the officials whistled Moretti for a foul. Tech led by three points at that juncture, and Guy cut that lead to one with two free throws with 2:54 remaining. They called a foul on me, too, on Kyle Guy when he trip over his teammates, Moretti said.

@TxTechGooner Texas Tech is up 3 in overtime, Kyle Guy trips on his own teammate and a foul is called on Texas Tech. Congrats to the Cavs but they had the zebras in their pocket all the way to the end. Wow pic.twitter.com/BJIaUT0AUz

Virginias fans take to the streets to celebrate their overtime NCAA victory over Texas Tech

No one in the Tech program blamed the officials for the loss. But the late whistles allowed Virginia to pull away and deviate from the drama that had preceded them.


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