Quite the contrary. At one point or another over the past few weeks each and every one of us has wondered when that first loss would come. Would it be 'Nova? Nope. The Irish? Guess not. Surely Pitt. Nevermind. Syracuse? uh uh. WVU? No can do.
If you told me Monday that we must lose one of our final 10 games, but that I got to pick the loss, gun to my head I'd have picked UConn. Why?
Well, for starters they are an excellent team. And if we had beaten them then a loss to ANYONE ELSE wouldn't make sense. On top of that I wouldn't want to wait until the end of the season to take a loss, I'd want to get it out of the way and start working on another 9-game win streak. If you had asked me a month ago I'd have thought a road loss to ND wouldn't be a devastating blow, but since then The Irish have made the case that they aren't as tough as I thought, and maybe losing to them would start to look pretty bad. Same goes for the hoyas. I definitely don't want to lose to Marquette, and WVU is our last regular season game and I want us to go into the tourney on a high note. So what then? St. Johns? DePaul!?! Cincy? Not only would a loss to any of the aforementioned teams punish our RPI, but they would offer us nothing in return, no valuable lessons like the ones we could take away from the UConn game.
a) It doesn't matter how big their center is, if we don't pound the lane and make him work then we have no shot at fouling him out.
b) We are not the best team in the Big East right now, and if we settle for our 6'9" forward launching up 20 threes then we never will be the best team in the Big East.
c) You can't win if you can't get to the line. If the refs aren't helping us then we have to help ourselves.
d) We can't beat a top tier team with T-Will riding pine.
If for some reason UConn hadn't brought their A-Game into Freedom Hall last night and we had escaped with a W, we might not know how far we are from where we need to be. We'd be sitting here patting ourselves on the back blissfully unaware of the work left to do. So yeah, we lost, and yeah, it sucks, but if we aren't ACTUALLY the best team in the league, I'd like to find out now when there is still time to regroup. Of course, if we lose to St. Johns next week I'm going to jump off something very tall, I wonder if Hasheem Thabeet is available.