Mahomes stirs Texas Tech with pregame pep talk

MINNEAPOLIS — No one appeared to be having more fun at the Final Four during Texas Tech‘s 61-51 win over Michigan State than NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Kansas City quarterback, a Texas Tech alum, and his Chiefs teammate Travis Kelce were in attendance at U.S. Bank Stadium to witness the Red Raiders make history by reaching Monday’s national championship for the first time ever.

Broadcast cameras caught Mahomes flexing his muscles in the crowd, celebrating a second-half 3-pointer by guard Matt Mooney by shooting an imaginary bow-and-arrow and donning the “Guns Up” gesture while cheering on his alma mater.

“It was awesome. He’s a great guy,” said guard Jarrett Culver, who spotted Mahomes sitting near his parents and brothers. “He supports his school. We all love to have Pat around, so when he comes out, it’s unbelievable.”

Earlier Saturday, Mahomes addressed the Tech basketball team after a film session, expressing words of encouragement for the historic strides the program has made this season.

“It was great,” redshirt senior Norense Odiase said. “He was excited. You could see his blood rushing, veins popping. He was turnt. Travis Kelce was there as well. It was a blessing to have those guys come.”

The gist of Mahomes’ speech? That the Red Raiders thrive as underdogs, and getting a win over the Spartans would prove everyone who doubted them wrong, according to redshirt senior Tariq Owens.

“He came in our film session, and he said he’s proud of us,” sophomore guard Davide Moretti said. “We did something that nobody [at Texas Tech] has done before. He was cheering for us, and he said that we’ve got this because he knows how hard we play and how hard we’ve worked for it. He’ll cheer his butt off for us.”

Red Raiders coach Chris Beard praised Mahomes’ dedication and support to the university and said he hopes to one day have the quarterback on the “Fireside Chat” show, which Beard hosts.

“We’re trying to get him on the ‘Fireside Chat,'” Beard said Friday. “That’s the only problem I have with Pat is, we haven’t gotten that done yet. Other than that, he’s been unbelievable for our university, our city, our team, our town. He’s just a real ambassador. He’s one of those guys that hasn’t forgotten where he came from.”

Mahomes, who played at Texas Tech from 2014-16, set NCAA records for most passing yards in a single game (734) and the most yards of total offense (819) in a win over Oklahoma in Oct. 2016. The 23-year-old quarterback remains a staple in Lubbock to the Texas Tech athletics community, especially the team vying for a national championship.

“Big time. He’s going to be a future hall of famer,” senior guard Brandone Francis said. “To me, maybe, one of the best quarterbacks out there. Him and Tom Brady, those are the top ones. It just feels amazing for him to take his time and come here and show love and support, we all appreciate him. Shout out to you, Pat.”

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