MINNEAPOLIS (Nexstar) — Texas Tech’s biggest cheerleader thinks he has one of the keys to success for the Red Raiders when they take the court on Saturday.
Kent Hance, former Lubbock Congressman, former Texas Tech Chancellor, and proud Red Raider alumnus, will be one of the thousands in attendance when his alma mater takes on the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night.
“I feel like we’ve got a great chance to go all the way and win the championship,” Hance said before making the trip to Minneapolis. “Our team is a great team, and we have excellent coaches– I think we have the best coaches in the country.”
Hance and some of his friends flew up north Friday morning. He has wanted to see his team in the Final Four since he enrolled at Tech.
“I moved into Bledsoe Hall in 1961,” Hance recalled. “We wanted to see this someday and time, and time is running short. We are in the fourth quarter.”
So, about that key to the Red Raiders’ success? A red jacket emblazoned with the Double T that he bought in 1991 at a store going out of business in Lubbock.
“(The owner) said ‘give me a price,’ and I looked at it and I said ‘I’ll give you $20,'” and they shook on it,” he remembered. “I probably could’ve gotten it for $10 but at least I got a bargain.”
Hance wore it when Tech made the tournament in 1996. They made the Sweet Sixteen that year. He wore it again in 2005 when Bob Knight led the team to the round of 16. Last year, when the team made it to the Elite Eight for the first time, Hance was there in his “lucky jacket.”
“My record with this jacket is 11-1,” Hance said. “We want it to be 13-1 and that’s what we’re pulling for in Minneapolis this week.”
He said he’s not particularly superstitious, but he is “single-stitious.”
“I’m single-stitious about this, and I hope it plays a role but it’ll be a great day for us when we are in the national championship,” he said with a smile.
As an added bonus, Hance gets to watch his grandson, Andrew Sorrells, suit up for the Red Raiders on Saturday.
“He loves that jacket, it’s kind of an old-timey jacket,” Sorrells said Friday. “I don’t really know how good he looks in it but it’s definitely an old big red jacket, but I think it’s cool and whatever works.”
Sorrells wondered why his grandfather hasn’t worn the jacket to each game all season if it’s as lucky as it’s claimed to be.
“If this is that lucky and we never lose, anytime we do lose it’s your fault for not wearing the jacket,” Sorrells said about Hance.
Hance said he’s proud that the other almost 350 Division 1 teams watching the Final Four this weekend will have their eyes on his alma mater.
“There are going to be four that are going to be playing, and we are going to be one of those four,” he said. “That’s huge.”