Sunday, March 31, 2013

Congrats, Michigan -- Ugh, Disappointment

First of all, congrats to Michigan -- they played great. Better than great. They won the game in the first two minutes, against a really really good team.

As a Florida fan, it is some crushing disappointment -- the expectations were "Final Four or failure." At the very least! I thought this team was good enough to win the national title.

And they were/are. But as we all know, great teams that don't play well -- particularly at this stage of the tournament -- don't get that chance.

I love being a Florida fan, in part, because of the "title or fail" expectations.

But it offers very little margin for error, let alone a performance like this one, which was worse than they have played all season. Most disappointing of all, it wasn't even close, right from jump.

This senior group -- Murphy (who had an abysmal game that made me feel horrible for him more than anything else), Boynton and Rosario -- went to three straight Elite Eights. That is nothing to sneeze at. But this year's team was elite and should have had an elite (read: Final Four) finish.

Whether or not Patric Young comes back (and he should, although if the standard is "first-round pick," he clears that threshold), Florida will be very good again next year.

Wilbekin -- the team's MVP this year -- is back. So are versatile forwards Will Yeguete and Casey Prather. So is 3-point ace Michael Frazier. The team has two top freshmen coming in next year, along with the activation of two transfer interior players.

Hopefully, this year's successes -- and ultimate failure in the Elite Eight -- inspires the team to greater heights. Then again, I said the same thing last year. And the year before that.

Expectations are wonderful to have, but cruel when unfulfilled.

-- D.S.

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