You'll have to forgive me. I'm still in a little bit of shock over what I just listened to for the past two hours.
I just kept waiting and waiting for it to all come crashing down. I kept waiting for Klay to force it, for Nik to blow it (oh, wait ... he almost did), for something -- anything -- crazy to happen that would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Instead, we rode the freshman just long enough to stay in it, then got huge offensive plays from our senior leaders down the stretch to keep the margin. Oh, and there was this little thing that this other freshman -- a freshman forward -- did in helping to hold perhaps the best player in the country to just 2-of-8 shooting and 7 points in the final 15:54 of the game.
Yeah, that was incredible. Too bad none of us saw it. (But I digress.)
This wasn't an incredible performance from the entire team, but for the first time, we were able to close out a close game against a quality opponent. Teams have to win some games like this one. And if it turns out I spoke too soon in pronouncing our NCAA Tournament hopes dead, this will be the night we point to as the one that started it all.
Thanks, Cougs. We needed a reason to believe again.