Texas Tech men’s basketball is one win away from heading back to the Lone Star State for the Final Four in San Antonio after the Red Raiders punched their ticket to the Elite Eight with a win over Purdue on Friday.
It’s the first time that Texas Tech has ever made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in program history, doing so in just the second season under coach Chris Beard.
From his love for Whataburger to assembling one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Big 12 Conference — and of those left in the tournament — Beard has made his mark in Lubbock and beyond on the college basketball landscape.
But none of that came easy.
According to a transcript posted by The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, Beard highlighted the sacrifices his players and assistants have made over the course of the season en route to a deep March Madness run. That includes giving up some of the most basic luxuries that Division I basketball programs enjoy as they travel to play around the country:
“Every guy on our team has made sacrifices. We don’t like entitlement in our program. We’re staying at ridiculously nice hotels where people come and take your plate from you. I don’t let that happen. Seriously, we make our guys get up and put the plate on the table, myself included.” — Texas Tech coach Chris Beard
Beard added that one team staff member was “still catching grief” about leaving his plate out the other day, per the transcript.
That’s just a glimpse into the life of Texas Tech men’s basketball off the court. And thus far, the work ethic Beard has instilled in his players and staff members has paid dividends.
Texas Tech will face No. 1 seed Villanova, the highest AP-ranked team left in the NCAA Tournament, on Sunday at TD Garden in Boston. Win again, and the Red Raiders will be back in their home state with plenty of support on the sport’s biggest stage.