The NCAA basketball national title tournament is more than a tournament, it is a chance for a team’s ultimate dream to come true. However, some just don’t make the cut, which is the position that St. Louis University finds itself in now.
“I think they’re good, but not good enough to win the championship,” Radio Broadcasting major Jason Langreder said mere hours before game time against Louisville.
It turns out he was right. Louisville defeated the Billikens 66-51 in a frustrating tale of a defense that did it’s part, but was matched with a lackluster offense. SLU went 39.6 percent from the field, and failed to convert on any of ther 15 3-point chances.
After doing his duty as a coach of evaluating the performance, Jim Crews remained optimistic about his graduating Seniors. “Big picture, I couldn’t be more proud and salute these guys for having a wonderful, wonderful career,” Crews said via the Post-Dispatch.
The Billikens produced a 27-7 regular season; the obvious highlight being a winning streak which lasted 19 games. SLU’s postseason story was one of hope, the Billikens had to come back from 11 points down against North Carolina State just to make it into the Round of 32.
After a dismal first half of play, it appeared that SLU was seeing some daylight after taking a two point lead over the Cardinals, once again coming from behind. However, unnecessary fouls and a lack of ball control shifted all momentum in Louisville’s direction. The magic was gone.
“Right at the start of the second half,” Crews said, “we kind of got a little thing going, but we couldn’t generate and kind of get over the hump with a little rhythm offensively, and that’s how it played out. That’s why we lost.”
There is one upside here: The Billikens have now experienced at least some postseason success, a fire that should fuel the team looking ahead.
This season’s points leaders include Dwayne Evans (475), Jordair Jett (471), and Rob Loe (350). Fans may have also been a large factor, total season attendance was over 143,000 people.
The Billikens are still on the hunt, and next season is when it all begins again.