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Last night was the biggest moment in Texas Tech sports history

One shining moment that outshined them all.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs Texas Tech Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not very often you see Chris Beard as happy as he was last night. At least not on the court. Who could blame him, that was a big time coaching performance by him and a big time playing performance by his team. I’m here to argue that this is not only the biggest moment in program history (which so far it is) but the biggest moment in Texas Tech sports history.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs Texas Tech Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

I know what most of you will say, we won a National Championship and that was bigger. I believe that Marsha Sharp has been the greatest coach in Texas Tech history but I believe last night was a bigger moment. It has more to do with the quality of win, the commitment of the fan base, and the presence of social media more now than in 1993.

2010 Naismith Awards Banquet

I’m more emotionally connected to Texas Tech basketball than I think I have been for any other sports team in my nearly 22 years on this earth. It was emotional last night, I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional about a team advancing than I was last night.

This connection that I and many fans have to this team has been to the credit of Coach Chris Beard and how he makes the fans and especially the students of Texas Tech a critical part of how he has taken this program from a middle of the pack Big 12 team to a National Contender in just three seasons.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It starts with the little things. I honestly never thought I would be on the floor of the United Supermarkets Arena until graduation. I remember the first time Coach Beard let the students come on to the floor to sing the Matador Song. He told his players to come into the stands and bring us on to the floor.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It was a really cool moment and it was a non-conference game and honestly there weren’t many students there so I thought, “Wow, this might be the only opportunity I have to this.” But it continued. Every home game, Beard invites the students onto the floor to sing the Matador Song with the team.

It’s the little things that give people emotional connections to things. Beard has really understood that in his time in Lubbock, part of the reason we are all so adamant that he won’t leave at the end of the season. The weekly Fire Side Chats that Beard put together has been a hit. It’s just part of his plan to make the entire student body feel welcome to his team, welcome to be a part of something special.

All of that is what makes last night so darn special. It’s what makes it more special to us all than a National Championship win in 1993.

It might not have been a better win, but it was a bigger moment.