Carolina Sadness

Written by Michael Sol Warren

By Michael Sol Warren
BU News Service

This is a self-pitying piece written by a sad Carolina basketball fan for other sad Carolina basketball fans. 

“I’m not upset. I’m just disappointed.”

That’s a phrase I heard often from my resident advisor when I lived on-campus during my freshman year at the University of New Mexico. Those words were usually spoken after my roommate or I had done something incredibly dumb. The saying became an inside joke, something we still tell each other when the other screws up.

Today I say those words about a basketball game, and I mean them in an earnest rather than demeaning way. North Carolina lost to Villanova in the national championship game last night. I’m not upset about this loss. I’m just very sad and disappointed.

How can you honestly be upset about a game that ends like this?

All that came on the heels of a first half in which the team played so well, only to squander it in the second half. Then, down ten and with players feeling “dejected” (Marcus Paige’s words, not mine), everything was coming up Tar Heels. When Paige hit this shot, you knew in your heart that Carolina would win this game in overtime.

Except that’s not what happened. Instead Kris Jenkins hit the first buzzer-beater in a championship since 1983 and everything was all over. No overtime. No happiness. Just Villanova.

I’m not disappointed in how the game ended. Could you imagine how worse it would have been to sit through 10 minutes of fouling and dragging out the clock as the inevitability of loss hung in the air? That would’ve been terrible. At least the Jenkins shot was sudden. At least there was hope all the way to the buzzer.

I’m not disappointed in the Carolina players. The resilience they showed is a true testament to the best parts of the human spirit. I know its a common refrain for every senior class, but this year’s seniors were special. Marcus Paige is the best leader that I’ve ever seen wear argyle. Brice Johnson became arguably the best player in the nation this season. Joel James moved gracefully into his important mentor role, and if you don’t see how important that is then read this quote from Kennedy Meeks.

I’m just disappointed that in the end, Villanova had more points than the Tar Heels. I’m disappointed that Paige, Johnson and James couldn’t go out on top. I’m disappointed that Roy Williams doesn’t have a third championship.

I’m not upset. I’m just disappointed.

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