Texas Tech is technically still the reigning national runner-up since there was no NCAA Tournament played last season.

The Red Raiders were on the floor warming up for their Big 12 tournament opener last March when the season suddenly stopped because of the pandemic.

“A surreal ending to the season. I think it’s fueled players and coaches and everybody not only to have the best year you can have, that’s every year, but I think really to appreciate the journey,” fifth-year coach Chris Beard said. “We tell our guys, enjoy the ride, not just the destination. Live where your feet are, smell the roses, all these things basically mean, man, appreciate every day.”

Even with the early departures of top scorers Jahmi’us Ramsey (for early entry in the NBA draft) and Davide Moretti (to play professionally at home in Italy), the Red