There is no other way to term Thursday night’s Big Sky Conference Tournament quarterfinals loss to Southern Utah. The Bears weren’t able to replicate the strong defense that carried them through the toughest stretches of the conference schedule.
They weren’t able to get their own shooting going.
A drive to the championship game just wasn’t to be.
One statistical fact reared it’s ugly head: every time an opponent shot better than 50% this season, the Bears lost. It happened 7 times of the 11 losses the Bears suffered, starting with Texas Tech’s 61% day back in November.
This one didn’t make much sense, however. This was the same Southern Utah team that had been held to 33% and 41% in two games against Northern Colorado this season.
In many ways, the game mirrored the UNC women’s team’s outcome Wednesday night against Eastern Washington: after the early solid play, things fell apart. Unlike that game, though, the men saw the hole just get deeper and deeper all night long.
So, what’s next? The College Basketball Invitational is the only post-season possibility the Bears are in the mix for, with the legal issues surrounding the school and the College Insider Tournament. The expectation is that things could be put in place before Sunday, but there’s a solid chance that UNC won’t be playing another game this season.
That just adds to the utter disappointment of the ending.