We Lose, We Lose, We Win

After the first two rounds of March Madness, most of the tournament's teams are gone. But also nothing really ends in March.
Share |

With a handful of seconds left in Xavier’s dismantling of Georgia State, the camera panned towards the bench as Ron Hunter pulled his son, R.J., from the court. Despite his Achilles injury putting him in an equally beloved and parodied chair near the bench, the coach stood and smiled widely at his son as he ran towards him. They embraced.

A few minutes later in the post-game press conference, we saw Hunter again, this time saying, “This was the greatest week of my life, the best time of my life as a father,” through tears. “I don’t want these kids to be sad,” he finished. As CBS went to an ad break of nu-twee automobile ads and Barkley/Shaq police procedurals, it was hard not to feel that the party’s last balloon had deflated. The tournament’s last truly surprising and likable team in the room was going home, and turned off the light as they left.

On the morning of the Sweet Sixteen, most of the field is gone. Same as every year, most of the lower seeds and small conference tournament champions have inevitably been swallowed by variously familiar whales, and the journey plunges forward into a cold, black sea. Eventually, all of the schools will have lost besides one. This is always how it goes.

While the winners—the students and alums of those Big Shithead Conference basketball squads, and Wisconsin’s half-speed inexorability machine, and of fucking course Kentucky—will continue onward, they will do so over the wreckage of those that were Just Happy To Be There and which were nonetheless crushed with the infinite void of losing. Does Kentucky hang a banner for anything less than the NCAA Championship? Does Stephen F. Austin University hang one for getting in and getting beaten fair and square by Utah?

Virginia coach Tony Bennett saw his team’s round-of-32 ouster as a teaching experience. His team’s loss to Michigan State “just leaves that feeling that you wish you could’ve taken it further.” Bennett’s team went 29-3, and was built in a way so wildly and willfully against basketball’s better aesthetics that only the possibility of tournament success could have justified playing the game this way. They lost all the same. “It doesn’t take away, once the dust settles, what this team accomplished,” Bennett said. “We give thanks for that, but certainly learn from what took place.” Luckily for the young Cavaliers and their unsatisfied coach, they will return many of this year’s players next season. They will play slower and even more methodically if they think it will help them win. As well they might. There is nothing much else for them to do.

In Monday’s Roakoke Times elegy on the team, the banal team’s jazz dirge of a headline was literally: “UVa season not disappointing nor fulfilling.” Somehow, the Cavaliers, the ACC regular season champions and a two-seed in March, ended their season without creating a memory. March is the cruelest month.


Roxanne Chalifoux became a meme that first weekend. She plays piccolo in Villanova’s band, and played through tears after Villanova was bounced from the tournament by North Carolina State in the round of 32. She received the requisite appearance with Jimmy Fallon, and a sort of ritual came full circle. Villanova, a fine program that routinely leaves the NCAA Tournament early, was a part of this, too. There's an obligatory need to be kind—good grades, fine behavior, a final season record of 33-3—but an overwhelming sense of disappointment accompanying it. There is also a familiarity to it.

And so there is, too, for the exits of all the other teams that deserved better, but also got what they deserved. I love the way that Virginia Commonwealth plays, for instance, but they too got only as much basketball as they deserve—two halves, one brutal overtime, and a ticket home courtesy of Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell. The Rams' fervent passion for man-to-man defense was easily countered with their simultaneous fear of fouling, an after-effect of an NCAA referee mantra to “call basically all contact.” Russell would struggle in the next game, a loss that would likely be the last game of his college career, but he revealed himself to be very much the kind of player that Phil Jackson should feel fine about being fined for scouting.

Even as VCU went down, they were tinkering and innovating and trying strange things. A super-small lineup—all wings and one point guard—provided a boost later into the second half, with 6'5” guard Jordan Burgess guarding the equivalent of the Buckeyes' center. The Rams made it to overtime with brawny forward Mo Alie-Cox fouled out, and their effort and persistence seemed to be rewarded. Their “Havoc” full-court press, which was hobbled after transcendent backcourt pest Briante Weber tore his ACL two months back, still glowed reasonably bright. Outplayed, they turned the ball over too much in the extra session, and lost by three or three hundred, I don’t remember. Heads buried in towels on the bench. Same old shit.

I texted with my friend Alex, a recent VCU alum, after the game. We had just gone to the Atlantic 10 Tournament, and watched the mangled Rams smash through the field with revenge wins over Richmond, Davidson, and Dayton. The crowd in Brooklyn, at some point hesitant, soared by the end of the weekend. Only so many of them could fly out to Portland to watch an OT loss.

I told him I was hopeful for the team, which was only losing three players to graduation and had already proven that it could work around just about anything.

“College sports are different, because you only get a few years to cheer for your favorite players,” he said. “Eventually, they all graduate, or transfer, or get interested, or even lose interest. Even coaches are never permanent as the prospect of greater jobs always looms. But within this transience, there's also a certain permanence, in that memories of temporary heroes will always remain.”

So maybe R.J. is still here. Maybe Briante Weber isn’t leaving after all. Maybe afterour teams lose, they all just go on.

Share |


The look rightly terrific. All these mini advice happen to be created implementing massive amount past working experience. I'd like to see the whole works very much. 스포츠중계

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work website

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. social bookmarking sites

It can be furthermore a wonderful write-up it's my job to surely liked looking at. It isn't really actually day-to-day it's my job to acquire the means to learn everything. end of tenancy cleaning london

Keep up the good work; I read few posts on this website, including I consider that your blog is fascinating and has sets of the fantastic piece of information. Thanks for your valuable efforts. Trigona.se

That's the reason it is best that you ought to appropriate investigation prior to composing. It is possible to create much better publish by doing this. high trust flow backlinks

Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks 먹튀사이트

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. voyance immediate

This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… alldocumentsforsale.com

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. Games tips or games hack

Great post but I was wondering if you could write a little more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks in advance! Bola88

I will do niche blog comment Just in 5$ .All comment relevant with your niche and UNIQUE .This off-page seo will increase your traffic and promote your business. GTA 5 Android

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. crown138.win

Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that. Kuniya hair new york

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. free mockup

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. intimacykit.org

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. Judi Bola Online

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. RapBars

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. top dating sites

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. Agen togel sgp

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. wilder vs fury live

Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Thanks Again. Fantastic. Klicka vidare till sidan

Great, thanks for sharing this article. Keep writing. cairns family photographers

I'm keen on ones write-up. It truly is beneficial to discover people verbalize on the cardiovascular system in addition to understanding within this significant theme is usually simply discovered. the best essay writing service uk

Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here... http://www.klickbike.com/kazam-classic-balance-bike-2/

My joy to getting in contact on your blog.I may need to thank you for the tries you have made in making this article. http://pixwords-help.org/cz/8-symbols

It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it! designer handbags uk

Promptly this unique websites are able to unquestionably recognition relating to most of operating a blog not to mention site-building of us, towards her meticulous items or just review articles. research paper

You might comment on the order system of the blog. You should chat it's splendid. Your blog audit would swell up your visitors. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! social security card

I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details. Scott Keever Seo

I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Tampa Seo

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.https://about.me/lostsscard

I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing. check my site

Writing with style and getting good compliments on the article is quite hard, to be honest.But you've done it so calmly and with so cool feeling and you've nailed the job. This article is possessed with style and I am giving good compliment. Best! www.affordablecraftsmen.net

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. tile shop marietta

Gangaur Realtech is a professionally managed organisation specializing in real estate services where integrated services are provided by professionals to its clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. Dean Hines | Lawyer

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! Dean Hines | Lawyer

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. Dirty Scam

I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog Dirty Scam

decent post, stay aware of this intriguing work. It truly regards realize that this subject is being secured likewise on this site so cheers for setting aside time to examine this! mitzvah photographers Northern VA

This is a splendid site! I'm exceptionally content with the remarks!.. Dirty Scam

Your site has grown a one-stop find as much as possible tutorial authoring. Thanks for your time in the very good get the job done. As i tested the online sites one preferred and even On the net which will best-dissertation.pores and skin look though. Ones own get the job done is kind of exemplary. cccam

Promptly this unique websites are able to most likely recognition relating to most of operating a blog not to mention site-building of us, due to the thoughtful items or just review articles. cheap college papers

We would like to inform you i simply take a look at your website as well as We think it is really fascinating as well as educational.. SEO Consultant India

Be sure to keep going the terrific job together with That i will enjoy even more to your impressive blog articles. งานเสริม

Produce additional content for this theme you do have a fantastic notion for you to promote writters. how to set a snake trap

free instagram followers That might get the job done short-term, though it’s a fantastic good long-term treatment designed for gentlemen who wish to end up one of the keys you extraordinary daughter some people can’t discontinue making plans for. likes

free youtube subscribers Clearly, it gotten all of us thinking about the other exercise routines can be good to the amongst us just who acquire by themselves driving on the road and contain restrained accessories possible choices. free youtube views

I owe this Desert safari dubai website a thank you!! I had the best Dubai trip, and all the credit goes to you. Thank you!!

Anything you perceived is definitely perfect, have an understanding of you should break up a rapport amongst already present definite plus innovative. Always be wary while you cure a definite along at the outer surface, for the reason that often there's a simple an opportunity to break up. Few improved to achieve the enable connected with an qualified. Snap Cash Binary