Texas Tech Fans Dominate the First Two Rounds of the NCAA Tournament
Technically, Texas Tech played their two opening games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the home of the Dallas Mavericks. But for two days in March, it was the home of the Texas Tech men's basketball team -- especially in the game against the Florida Gators that allowed Texas Tech passage into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.
Every big time moment reinforced the confidence of the Red Raiders and broke the Florida Gators spirit deafening roar, by deafening roar.
Let's look at some examples, with 9:41 to go and Texas Tech holding a 1 point lead Zhaire Smith jumps in like Randy Orton, OUTTA NOWHERE, and puts back a ginormous slam.
Sure, the dunk is incredible, but the crowd reaction is even better. Everyone in that arena knew what would happen at that moment. The crowd was going to will the Red Raiders to victory.
The Gators would fight back to tie the game at 64, but Keenan Evans would light the fuse to another raucous reaction and explode the American Airlines Center yet again.
Individual plays from Keenan Evans and Zhaire Smith aren't enough? Let's put them together into an ankle-breaking, lane-driving, earth-shattering alley-oop.
I don't know what's louder: The crowd, or Zhaire Smith's vertical.
It wasn't only the reactions that had incredible decibels. This 'Raider Power' chant is as good as anyone ever shouted in Lubbock County.
Just take a minute to soak in the roar after this wild finish.
I'm surprised that no one rushed the court.
Here's what the post game sounded like on the court level.
I don't know what's better here, the pure joy on the faces of the Red Raiders singing the Matador Song, or the complete indifference of the six people in the gym that aren't Red Raiders.
This guy is all of us.
There was even a line of fans back in Lubbock to welcome the team home this morning after they flew back from Dallas.
I'm not saying Texas Tech would not be in the Sweet 16 if they hadn't been seeded in Dallas, Texas, but I do know how much Chris Beard loved the atmosphere there at the AAC.
Texas Tech basketball even had other Texas Tech coaches trying to will them to victory, like Kliff Kingsbury.
Is this photo doctored at all? Are Kliff's arms getting huge? Was he getting a pump right before this photo was taken?
All valid questions, but not important.
What is important is that Texas Tech is now going to Boston where they will try to move on without the home town feel.
I for one, believe they can do it.