During the season, losses are easier to take, because there’s always another game.
This loss will hurt fans until next November.
The Racers stood on their own, and held a 5 point lead with just over 7 minutes to go. Then Marquette’s head coach Buzz Williams called a timeout. Then 15 seconds later, a turnover led to the under 8 media timeout.
The Racers went over 7 minutes of real time without touching the basketball. Momentum was lost.
Just over 7 minutes of game time later, so was the game.
The Murray State Racers might have finished 31-2, but this team seemed destined for more than the round of 32. A “home” tournament game, with thousands of UK and Murray State fans cheering together.
As we saw in Greensboro yesterday, and today in Louisville, “home” games don’t mean much in March.
In the end, it came down to the Racers offense, which simply couldn’t solve Marquette for much of the game.
But I’m not going to pick apart the Racers loss right now. Sure there were things they could have done better. There were things Marquette could have done better.
But right now, Racer Nation, and the rest of the “bandwagon” fans that have joined on Murray’s magical ride this year, have to figure out what to think about one of the best regular season in the Ohio Valley Conference’s long history, cut short by the wrong opponent at the wrong time.
Because make no mistake, the road to the Final 4 is wide open for Marquette. They’ll take on at best a 7-seed in the Sweet 16, and even if they get Michigan State in the Elite 8, they’ve been marred somewhat by a late season injury.
It might not have ended the way Racer Nation wanted.
But this is still a season to remember.