Easily the worst loss in memory since either 1) the Elite 8 against MSU or 2) last year's travesty in Morgantown.
First and foremost, the refs absolutely and without question killed us. Sure, there were a couple of questionable calls that went our way, but time after time, whistle after whistle, WVU had every advantage.
And yet we still had plenty of chances to win. We should have won. Free throws. Preston! (see below). Rebounding. And that's why everyone loved this team so much. Shots weren't falling, WVU was killing us on the boards, Siva was on the bench with 4 fouls, every reason to just pack it in and get to NYC healthy and rested. And yet, they came back, took a seemingly commanding lead.
Free throws down the stretch are the hardest to make. Remember, in 2009, T-Will missed two potentially game-clinching free throws and WVU missed their chance. This time, Mitchell made two tough 3's, including the game-tying one with 10 seconds that was well-contested and well-behind the three point line.
And then Preston. I mean, Preston!, he deserves the ! no matter what. Lots of people blaming him as a senior for 1) a quick 3 and 2) fouling. On the 3, with no timeouts, not sure what other shot we are going to get there. We've all watched Reece Gaines and Cisco's 3's @ Marquette on youtube over and over, and they were exactly the same shot and situation.
And the foul. Mike tweeted that the refs had to call that. I strongly, strongly disagree. Preston! wouldn't be Preston! if he didn't race across the court to try to get that loose ball. That's what makes him Preston! He got there a step too slow, but the refs easily could have let that go. Remember Pitt/Kuric? Seems like they let that go in almost the exact same circumstance. I think the refs just wanted to get the hell out of there; they clearly seemed spooked or easily swayed by the home crowd. And that's a scary place.
So where do we go from here? Obviously, Preston! and Siva's psyche's are the most important part of the team that needs to heal over the next five, long, long, long days before we get to play again. Especially since it might be a rematch with West Virginia. Our NCAA seeding looks like it is heading to a 4 unless we make a good run, although if the committee actually looks at the circumstances of that game, we shouldn't be penalized. But we will. We always are.
This season has been so awesome. But this game hurts so, so, so, so much it's really hard to put it into rational words. We, as fans, don't have to really get over it. Preston! and Siva and the rest of the players do.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm turning off all TV, internet and radio and going to sit outside by myself for awhile.