The Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball team did something no team in school history had ever done. For the first time, Texas Tech University found themselves in the NCAA Tournament’s national championship game facing arguably the best team in college basketball all year, the Virginia Cavaliers. Led by Big 12 Player of the Year Jarrett Culver, the Red Raiders and head coach Chris Beard fell to UVA in a thrilling overtime game on Monday night, 85-77.
There was no serious controversy at U.S. Bank Stadium. There were no second guesses. Patrick Mahomes of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs joined his Texas Tech alum proudly watching from the stands. This was a great game to cap an all-around solid run of March Madness. The TTU faithful back in Lubbock, Texas had plenty to celebrate after an incredible national title game, but at least they stayed inside this time. Just two nights before, thousands took to the streets and embarrassed their university to celebrate Texas Tech reaching the title game.
After defeating Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans in the Final Four, Texas Tech students and fans poured into the streets late Saturday night to celebrate their accomplishment. Alcohol-fueled partying crowded Broadway, 19th, University and Marsha Sharp Freeway that resulted in at least four cars being flipped, several fist fights, and furniture being burned that resulted in thousands of dollars of damages. Lime was even forced to remove their electric scooters from Lubbock after several were destroyed during the fiasco.
By the time the sun came up Sunday morning, the New York Daily News reported that 23 people were arrested.
Here’s a glimpse of the chaos that spread across social media:
The chaos died down after the Lubbock Police Department used tear gas to finally disperse the crowd, according to KTRK-TV in Houston. It took almost three days for the city of Lubbock to clear the mess left behind, and police announced that several roads would remain closed until at least Tuesday.
Lubbock police issued this statement to the department’s Facebook page early Sunday morning:
“After the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball team defeated Michigan State in a NCAA Championship Final Four game, hundreds of fans gathered on Broadway, near University. The crowd engaged in extremely dangerous, and disappointing behavior including vandalizing property. We are proud, and excited, for Texas Tech, but behavior like this will not be tolerated. We want Red Raider fans to support the team and celebrate lawfully and responsibly. We are on the national stage so make Lubbock proud.”
— Lubbock Police Department, h/t Facebook
It’s a shame that poor decisions by only a few Texas Tech fans reflects on the entire city like this, but it’s probably also a good thing that Texas Tech didn’t win the school’s first-ever national championship. If this was the result of simply getting there, then winning it could have gotten even uglier.