Well, this season has ended just like most basketball seasons do, with my team not cutting down the nets at the end. For the first time in 24 years, I will not be able to have my end-of-season ritual of shooting baskets in the dark, as Diane is out of town on a women's retreat with our church. I really wish that I could get some of this taste out of my mouth by shooting ball in the rain, but maybe I will commandeer Jacob's nerf hoop before bed.
Watching the Heels be down by 28 points was like watching a team I have never seen. Watching them come back to within 4 points was amazing. And I honestly believe we were about an inch from winning the game, as Danny Green's 3-pointer went in and out with the Heels down 58-53. If that goes, it's a two-point game and I think Kansas folds. They showed a replay, and Roy Williams says, "If that three goes, it would have been a lot of fun." It didn't go, and the Heels momentum and legs gave out. While I am glad to not have been embarrassed as badly as it looked like it was going to be, losing still puts me in a funk. So, let's remember that a 36-3 season is nowhere close to failure, and along the way we saw:
Tyler Hansbrough win virtually every National Player of the Year Award.
A 16-point comeback against Clemson at home.
An amazing buzzer-beater at Clemson.
Beating Dook for the third straight year in Cameron.
Winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles.
Tying UCLA for a record 17 Final Four appearances.
This has been the year that my kids got into the Heels, and games became events around the house, with Psalter and Eliza sitting beside me on the couch yelling, "De-fense! De-fense!" and "Tar!" "Heels!" "Tar!" "Heels!" And Jacob saying "Dot-heels."
And now it's 8 long months until we get to do it again. I hate the wait until October. My one comfort right now is that maybe Tyler will not want to leave Caroline with this terrible taste in his mouth.
And I now officially hate Final Fours in San Antonio (see UNC, 1998)