WATCH: Texas Tech players reflect on magical season
Texas Tech players reflect on the hard-fought overtime loss to Virginia in the national championship and what this team and program has meant to them.
Erasing a 10-point deficit in the second half and up three inside of 30 second, it was looking promising for the Red Raiders. But Virginia's De'Andre Hunter got wide open in the corner and hit a game-tying three to force overtime.
"It was on me, I kind of over-helped," Texas Tech sophomore Jarrett Culver said. "I knew he was down three, stepped over too much and he made a good pass to a great shooter."
The Cavaliers pulled away in overtime, out-lasting the Red Raiders 85-77, to win their first-ever national title.
What a season it was for Tech. They reached the Final Four and National Championship, both program firsts.
"Everybody counted us out all year," graduate transfer Tariq Owens said. "There wasn't one person who picked us to win. People didn't pick us against Buffalo. People didn't pick us to win against Northern Kentucky. They didn't pick us to win against Michigan. They didn't pick us to win against Michigan State. They didn't pick us to win against Gonzaga."
Senior Brandone Francis says he has no regrets.
"Came in there and gave everything I got to my teammates and this team."
Francis says he wanted to deliver more for Tech fans.
"Not just for me and myself. And the teammates and everybody, but for the whole city of Lubbock," Francis said. "All the Red Raiders...just bring something back special to the school, that was my whole objective."
Graduate transfer Matt Mooney is grateful to Coach Beard and his staff for bringing him to the team.
"For giving me the opportunity, for sticking with me. Even when I wasn't doing well. I owe them everything."
Senior Norense Odiase says this has been and is a resilient team.
"We're a tough group. We're a gritty group," Odiase said. "I'm proud we got this far. Obviously didn't get it done...what we wanted to. I'll just be proud of how we fought."
A welcome home for the team is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday at the USA. It's free to the public, doors open at 2.