I told those around me, whomever was listening, that we needed to defend the three at all costs. I even tweeted it. Unfortunately, that didn’t help the situation. Surely Johnny Jones, he of the five straight 20-win seasons knew the situation and had a plan. No doubt that plan was to not allow Bozeman or that white guy to jack up a potentially game-winning three point shot.
As it was, that shit was awesome if you are one of the nine UALR fans. No doubt. Bozeman lived up to his Sunbelt POY status. My hat, if I had one on my head, would be off to him.
That shot took balls. That shot was epic. It was slightly better than Josh’s last year.
It also was a bittersweet game if there ever was one. Looking at it from a September perspective, I would declare this loss a failure. Looking at it from a mid-February perspective, I would declare this a triumph of will.
None of that matters. Not really. Josh White, Tristan Thompson, George Odufuwa and ‘Nique Johnson have done us good. They made North Texas a winning program. They brought home a Conference Championship and gave us a hell of a performance in the this one.
I am disappointed. I am also excited. This group of guys along has done their part to bring us the 31st ranked class next year. Realistically speaking, as my dad noted to me after Bozeman ripped my heart out, it was a decent way to go out considering the Beatdown that awaits UALR in the NCAA Tournament.
I can see his point. I also can see that in that situation the most significant trophy is the Sunbelt one. It was there for the taking. It was ours. It now belongs to an underdog team that we beat two out of three times.
There is a lot to dissect in that last minute or so. How did Tristan, the most prolific freebie maker this season, miss one?? How did we fumble away a five-point lead?? How did the referee allow that moving screen/murder on that three point shot?? Why did Shannon’s bodybuilding Grandma not teach him to defend the desperation three??
We did enough to win. That three was contested about as good as you can without blocking it. There are some tweaks that could have been made. I don’t care to dwell on those. This was less a loss than it was a win by UALR.
Bozeman took the ballsiest shot. He took a Best Player On The Team Shot. Give him credit, pat his back, like that shit on Facebook. As more time passes and more beerverages cross my path, I am prouder of our guys for getting to the precipice of the Promised Land again. I’d be much more disappointed if we petered out against Troy or FAU or fucking WKU.
Nah. Circumstances being what they are, we have to win the Sunbelt to get to the Tournament. So be it. I can’t be too mad at losing the game off a miracle shot by the other guys’ best player.
Let it be known from here on that North Texas belongs in the Sunbelt Championship Game. That is our rightful place, thanks to these departing seniors and their chief, Johnny Jones. We have come to expect it.
So shall it be written, so shall it be done.
You listening Tony Mitchell? You have a hell of a standard to live up to.
Go Mean Green.