I have spent the last 18 hours thinking of what I would say about the game, and I realize now, that nothing I can come up with will accurately express how I feel. Besides, if you want true insight, go read what Meacham wrote. His liveblog and wrap-up say everything that needs to be said. Plus, I am both physically and emotionally exhausted. So with those disclaimers in place, here are just a few of my many thoughts:
- Win or loss, that was one hell of a basketball game. Prior to last night, the most exciting game I had attended was UConn's 2006 overtime win over Washington in the Sweet 16. However, what the Huskies and the Orange did last night was mindblowing. The pure enormity of the game did not fully sink in until I watched some of the Instant Classic replay this afternoon and saw Eric Devendorf's shot get waved off only to realize there were still 30 minutes left in the game.
- Speaking of which, thank god Devendorf shot did not count. Instead of having my pain dulled by exhaustion and disbelief, I would have had to endure constant suffering.
- Thankfully, this was not the most painful UConn loss I have seen in person. That honor, will always and forever go to George Mason. Hell, this was not even the most painful loss to Syracuse that I have seen. G-Mac and the 2006 'Cuse team get the nod for that.
- Several people have tried to comfort me by telling me that "at least I witnessed history." For the record, that does not make anything feel better. I have been on the wrong end of history too many times as a UConn student, and someday, I hope to be able to witness history as a winner.
- On a personal note, I have horrible luck with the Big East tournament. For the last four years, I have planned my spring break around watching the Huskies run through MSG. Lets just say that Spring Breaks have not been a highlight for me.
Looking forward, I, like Meacham, have come to see the team's flaws much more clearly. The bench is too shallow, they are missing a key scorer in crunch time, and the perimeter defense is simply not the same. That being said, I am not giving up on the team.
At this point, I think the general consensus is that UConn will either back into the fourth No. 1 seed or fall and become the top No. 2 seed. Either way, I am not sure it matters (in fact, I am much more interested in seeing if UConn winds up in Boston or gets shipped out to a place like Glendale.) If I had to bet, I would say UConn is likely going to wind up with either Michigan St. (please God!) or Memphis (no God no!) in their bracket. Either way, two things are clear: UConn has some serious flaws, but they also have the potential to be incredibly dangerous. Obviously, I will wait to see the final bracket before making a prediction, but I would not be surprised if UConn gets bounced in the Sweet 16 nor will I be shocked if they make it to the Final 4. The talent is there, but now, more than ever, UConn has to hope favorable matchups will be too.