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Bummer yes; disappointment, no

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 27, 2008

So, I just got home from the restaurant. I’m not going to go too in depth, because we all saw what happened, but here are just some general thoughts to wrap up the final game of the season.

(Dang, it sucks to write that. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t sunk in yet.)

First of all, if there was any doubt about how good North Carolina is, those doubts should be firmly put to rest now. They just ran through and over the second-hottest team in the tournament with ease, mostly on the strength of that unbelievable offense. I’m not sure I can think of a college offense in recent memory that has had that kind of firepower.

We certainly didn’t help our cause; shooting 32 percent from the floor is bad no matter who you play. But when you’re depending on made buckets to keep a team from getting into its transition offense and you miss that many shots — not to mention turn the ball over a few times — that’s just death.

I suppose I might feel a little better about this loss if North Carolina had done anything special on defense to cause that 32 percent, but I just felt like it was nothing more than a bad shooting night. We can talk about not getting the ball to Aron Baynes enough, or not going hard enough to the bucket, but really what it came down to was that it was an extremely poorly timed bad shooting night. Nothing more than that.

Of course, that’s really all it takes with a team such as North Carolina.

To be sure, North Carolina’s defense is predicated by its offense — something no other team in college basketball can say, except for maybe Tennessee. And their offense is so darn good, it works for them. I mean, we held their All-American to two points in the first half … and were down 14 at the break. When you give the Heels a crack in the door, they kick that freaking thing down, whether it’s Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson or Danny Green, who just happened to exceed his season average with his 12-point first half.

A two-point game all of a sudden becomes a 10-point game, putting tremendous pressure on your offense to catch up. You start getting a little tight, you miss a few more shots … all of a sudden it’s a 17-point game. And it’s absolutely over from there, because the pace you must play to catch up doesn’t favor you, it favors North Carolina.

While I’m bummed out that we didn’t compete a little longer than we did, I’m hardly disappointed. This has been such an awesome ride, how can any of us be disappointed? Losing seven times to your in-state rival and getting bounced in the first round of the CBI with top 25 recruiting classes is disappointing. Spending the better part of two seasons ranked in the Top 25, going to consecutive NCAA Tournaments and making it to the Sweet Sixteen is not.

I’ll probably have some thoughts in the next couple of days to wrap up the season, once I’ve had some time to collect my thoughts and put it all in perspective in my mind, but now’s not the time. The only thing this is the time for is this:

Thank you, Cougs. You’ve brought immeasurable joy to our lives, something we can’t say enough. I know this isn’t the way you wanted to go out, and this probably won’t make you feel any better right now, but we love you just the same.

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6 Responses to “Bummer yes; disappointment, no”

  1. Eric said

    “…but we love you just the same.”

    Amen to that.

  2. Tim said

    So what’s next for the blog? Any thoughts on what next year’s team will look like?

  3. Joe "The Pro" said

    Definitely a poor performance overall by the team. Credit UNC for their role in it. Most Cougs — like me — were just so excited to see that we got a #4 seed, we didn’t bother to look at what the #1-#4 match-up would be in the Sweet 16. We’ll, it was Carolina, the Goliath of college basketball. And tonight, David was just a bit to jittery to smote the Philistine.

    AWESOME SEASON, COUGS!!! I’m depressed that it came to an end tonight. But in the end only one team is going to be happy with the outcome of the tournament. 64 will not.

    GO COUGS!!!

  4. johnnycougar said

    clap-clap clap-clap-clap THANK YOU SEN-IORS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap…

  5. Nuss said

    Well, as far as the blog goes, we’ll probably write a kind of retrospective appreciation for this season in the next day or so. Then, we’ll probably be taking some time off, since next week is my spring break and I’m going to take a little mini-vacation with my wife in Seattle. I’ll probably drop in some sporadic thoughts on the tournament as it winds down, then we’ll turn our thoughts to next year.

    But for now, I want to live in the moment of this year. I’m not quite ready to let it go yet.

  6. TiltingRight said

    I’m not nearly as depressed as I thought I would be. I guess I didn’t think it likely we’d win this one anyways, and I can’t help but be giddy about the success we’ve already had. What a ride.

    I can’t remember a team–even the Rose Bowl Cougs x2, even the Seahawks in the SB XL–I’ve felt so emotionally attached to, and so proud of.

    For the younger guys, see you next year.

    Thanks for a GREAT run. Thank you seniors (all 5 of you) for your hard work and belief in the system. Best of luck in all your future endevours, whether in basketball or not. God bless you.

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