Yeah, that sucked.
That amazing shot by R.J. Hunter of Georgia State will be replayed for the next three weeks and will probably join a legion of NCAA Tournament moments that are brought up around this time every year. If you're like me, it'll probably make you ragey every time you see it. We're just going to have to deal with it.
But I hope this doesn't make Baylor fans completely forget about what a great season this team had. This was a team picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 and was thought to be a question mark if they would even make the NCAA Tournament. It's hard to replace guys like Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson and Brady Heslip and expect to be at the same level that Scott Drew had this team last season, especially in the postseason. This was supposed to be a retooling year. And yet...
Rico Gathers turned into an absolute monster patrolling the paint and corralling every rebound in sight. Taurean Prince became the best sixth man in college basketball. Lester Medford grew up right before our eyes into a quality Big 12 guard. Johnathan Motley and Al Freeman showed glimpses of becoming future stars for this program. Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale were the glue that held the whole thing together. This was a team in every sense of the word. When the offense got rolling, it was a beautiful display of team basketball through precise execution. The Bears' zone defense was better than ever at slowly the opposition into a frustrating game. Baylor won seven games against ranked opponents, the most in a single season in program history. The 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament tied the highest in school history. Despite the early exit in the Big Dance, I still think this was Scott Drew's finest coaching job to date. And he still deserved to win Big 12 Coach of the Year.
I'm not writing this to say that we should all act like the 2015 Georgia State game never happened. That's impossible. That game will stick in my craw for a long time, much like the 2010 Elite Eight game with Duke (it wasn't a charge). I'm pissed about it. It's natural. I just don't want one shining moment that happened to be against us to completely overshadow what was an awesome season full of great moments, can't miss highlights, and program firsts.
Thanks for the ride this season, Baylor basketball. Even if it might have ended a few games shorter than what we were hoping.