LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We caught up with Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope in Minneapolis and asked him about his pride in the Red Raiders, and his disappointment in the behavior of some rowdy fans Saturday night.
First, the good news. How does he feel about this championship run?
"Can't really put it into words," Pope said. "It's what we've been working for, but it's a spot we've never been before. We're really elated."
Mayor Pope is excited, not just for the team, but for the positive attention this accomplishment is bringing to Lubbock.
"It's about our teams, our campus, our community. It's so positive and that's where we want this to stay. We want the good things that are happening on the court to be the story."
And of course, we asked him about the property damage and rowdy fan reaction on the street.
Pope promised the city will be prepared for next time and said, "It's unfortunate that the actions of a few throw a dark cloud over something that's so significant. The story should be what's going on on the court."
Pope said, "We should have a robust, fun, loud celebration, but we can do that without damaging private property, public property, or endangering other people's lives."
Pope said, "We're Lubbock, Texas. We're the friendliest place in the country, we have the best people in the country, and what happened last night is something that there's really no excuse for."
Mayor Pope praised Lubbock first responders, saying they were "put in a tough spot."
Pope said they had to use two cannisters of tear gas on Saturday night, only used after police were surrounded.
Mayor Pope said city and student leaders were all on the same page. "We want to win tomorrow night, we want to have a great celebration, but we want to do it in the kind of way that we don't look back and go, 'What was that?'"
Pope's message for students and fans Monday night?
“Soak in the victory. Have a lot of fun. Celebrate. Be loud, but let’s be proud. Let’s make sure we remember who we are, and that we want to wake up the next morning as national champs. That needs to be the story.”