(The following college basketball conspiracy theory is not to be taken seriously.)
A very, very important thing has happened since I last posted. As you are well aware, UNC played its worst 15 minutes of basketball all season in San Antonio, immediately followed by 15 of their best basketball all season, immediately followed by some pretty bad basketball to end it. It was sad to see such a great season come to such a bitter end. I can imagine, however, how much worse it would have felt for Kansas fans had the Jayhawks succeeded in blowing that 28 point lead.
A lot of speculation has gone around as to why UNC lost that game. Was it bad coaching? A lack of adjustments? Was UNC mentally out of it to start the game? Did the comeback take so much energy out of them that they were unable to finish it? Did Bill Self, having inherited a Roy Williams coached team, understand all of his strengths and weaknesses and have him beat the moment the Jayhawks walked off the court in Detroit? Could not take the thought of beating the team that used to be his team? Or were the Jayhawks just that good?
All of these are valid points, and any one (or all) of these factors could have played a role on April 5th. However, I have a particular spacegoat in mind. One scapegoat, who, if he did what he was supposed to, could have prevented all of this.
That scapegoat, my friends, is Bob McKillop.
What were you thinking on that last play, man?!? YOU HAD THE JAYHAWKS! YOU HAAAAAAAD THEEEEEEMMMMMMMM!!!
You had a chance to get Jason Richards, Stephen Curry, or the White Lobster open for a game winning three. You had plenty of time to set up that play. But you needed Richards to drive the ball up the court while Davidson’s forwards set up a shot for another 3-point shooter (Curry or Barr). Instead, the ball was inbounded to Curry, and he hadn’t brought the ball to anything resembling shooting range until there were less than 5 seconds on the clock. He tried to do everything himself, but everyone came to defend him, forcing him to give the ball up to Richards, who threw up a desperation off-balance shot too wide left to go in.
If Davidson gets a better-looking shot, they hit the three, win the game, and go to the Final Four. A future elementary school principal, a 12 year old boy, a Quebecois, a White Lobster, a 6’8″ man with elf ears, and a Nigerian porn star get to play in college basketball’s biggest stage. Gus Johnson climaxes on national TV, an already great game becomes legendary, and the college basketball apocalypse of four #1 seeds is averted. More importantly for Heels fans, however, the catastrophic end to UNC’s otherwise fantastic season would not have happened. Sure, we probably would have trailed Mount Saint Mary’s the way we played in the first half against Kansas, but I would have more at peace with losing to a mid-major team of destiny. Although many other Tar Heel fans might disagree with that last statement (“losing…in the Final Four…to friggin’ DAVIDSON? No way, dude.”)
So now, a month later, Heels fans have a clearer picture…and a clearer head. There is no Roy Williams/Kansas conspiracy (except for maybe not being the best coach on the fly). The National Player of the Year is coming back for a Senior season, the legend that is Quentin Thomas is shaking his collegiate coil, and pretty much our entire backcourt offensive production will be testing the NBA waters for the next month or so before deciding whether or not to go pro. As much as Carolina fans love Hansbrough, I think that having a solid, experienced backcourt will be just as important for another run at the National Championship as Hansbrough staying, if not more important. Despite the Kansas game and regardless of who comes back, this season was great and next season may prove to be even more awesome.
So let’s just leave it at that. We Heels fans have more important things to think about. Such as the even greater conspiracy theory of Pablo killing Rameses XVII to take his place as mascot. Or what could be the baseball team’s best season EVARRRR.