Red Raiders return home to cheering crowds after NCAA tournament

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Red Raiders returned home overnight after a historic run in the NCAA tournament.

The team suffered a heartbreaking 71 to 59 loss to Villanova in Boston Sunday. This is the furthest the Red Raiders have gone in the NCAA tournament in the history of the men's basketball team.

The team landed at the Lubbock airport just after 1:30 Monday morning. They took a bus back to United Supermarkets arena where hundreds of fans were waiting to cheer them on.

It's a bittersweet homecoming for the team, but head coach Chris Beard says it's an honor to be a part of the Red Raider nation.

"Just really proud of our players, you know every season ends on that disappointing note unless you play on that last Monday night, which we intend to one day. We're so appreciative of our players. It was a special ending with all these great Red Raider nation people out here at 2:30 in the morning. I know it means a lot for these players," said Beard.

When asked about the future of the team, Beard said, "We're just getting started, it's our second year and we always want to play meaningful games in the month of March, and we intend to be right back here next year at the same point."

Coach Beard says the team will take some time off to recover both physically and mentally. They also have a lot to catch up on academically after taking a few weeks off for the tournament.

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