That picture's so hard to look at because the young man so upset just gave one of the best NCAA Tournament performances you'll ever see from a freshman, and it makes you wish that you could talk to him and tell him that if he doesn't play the way he did his team would have undoubtably lost by double digits.
Also, I was sort of indifferent to the Aggies before but because Law made it a point to console Sosa while the rest of his team was celebrating, I'll be cheering for A&M for as long as they're in the tournament.
This one hurts folks, and it's gonna stick around for a while.
It's easy to talk about the future because of the way our freshmen performed late in the season, but the fact is that with the nature of a sport where one bad game can ruin a years worth of work, when you have the opportunity to string a few wins together in March you have to take advantage. This is why I was so upset with all the "this loss doesn't matter because we're going to be amazing next year" talk after the Final Four loss in 2005.
This one was there for the taking, and a key stretch where a pair of upperclassmen (Palacios and Jenkins) turned the ball over on consecutive possessions and we lost a five point lead, was every bit as costly as Edgar's miscues in the last minute. It's also fair to point out that Sosa's contributions in the other 39 minutes were head and shoulders above anything anyone else did.
These two teams should not have been playing in the second round. Of course there's no way of knowing and I'm extremely subjective, but I would place a heavy wager on Louisville being able to beat at least half of the remaining 16 teams when the dust settles tomorrow night. Both teams playing in Rupp Saturday afternoon got a shit draw, and it sucks that one is out after the first weekend.
Both teams tried their hardest to make it happen, but the referees did a phenomenal job of ruining what should have been a classic game. Fifty-one fouls and SEVENTY (70!!) free-throw attempts between two teams is preposterous, and downright difficult to watch. If I didn't have a rooting interest, I don't think I'd have been able to stay away from World's Strongest Man, Ice Dancing or whatever bullshit filler ESPN was putting out at the same time.
Big players making big plays is what March Madness is all about, and the stripes refused to allow for any heroics away from the charity stripe in the final minute. Sosa did not foul Law on A&M's first possession in the last minute, and Jones did not foul Sosa on the Cards' subsequent trip.
Just an awful, awful officiating job by this crew, and considering how consistent a theme this has become across the country this month you have to wonder if the game is simply passing these guys up. They anticipate foul calls because of the size of players, they call steps when players aren't walking because they aren't used to seeing this speed, and they play to the cameras because almost every game is televised these days and they, like everyone else, want to be on TV.
Anyhow it's late and I'm still pissed and don't feel like talking about this anymore so I'm going to hang it up for the night.
Congratulations to A&M on a terrific win and best of luck to the rest of the way, especially if you play Memphis State.
This was one hell of a ride folks, and I think it's safe to say that despite how it ended it was far more enjoyable than we could have ever imagined after the first turn. Thanks to the players, coaches, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this seasons so enjoyable for us fans.
2007-2008 should be a sight to see.