In Malcolm Gladwells' "Outliers" he has a chapter about plane crashes. Turns out, commercial planes don't crash because one thing goes wrong. On average, it takes 7 consecutive human mistakes for a plane to crash. 7 consecutive human mistakes by highly-trained professionals. 6 mistakes and the plane would have a close call, but would probably be alright. 7 consecutive errors - that's a lot. And sadly, tonight, one less stupid play here or there, and we probably survive and advance (in spite of how poorly we played). If Brandon doesn't throw a lazy cross-court pass that gets intercepted, Kris doesn't give an intentional foul allowing Marquette to score 4 straight points. If Scoop doesn't jack up a 3 point shot with the shot clock turned off and 16 seconds left in the first half, maybe we get a hoop and Marquette certainly doesn't. If we're able to execute a simple inbounds pass with 51 seconds to go in the game and the score tied, we're in perfect position for a 2 for 1 opportunity... as it turned out, 1 opportunity wasn't enough for us. And these are just the highlights (or lowlights if you will). 18 turnovers. And other than the Brandon charge where he was hurt (which I thought was a bogus call), I don't remember one of them being a "good turnover" - the kind you say, okay, but he had the right idea there. So 17 unforced mistakes. And that doesn't include the handful of awful shots we took, the 4 or 5 WIDE OPEN jump shots we missed, the two blown lay-ups, or the ball-watching we did as we were beaten back on D, allowing Marquette to get easy (non-transition) transition hoops. Sadly, as poorly as we played, one less turnover, one more made shot, a little more awareness on our transition defense, one or two less mistakes, and we win. We do.
Marquette didn't beat us. We beat ourselves. So this one hurts and it's going to haunt me for a long time.