Well, I've had the night to move on, sleep on the game, and then wake up in the morning to find life exists despite a loss. I'm obviously not thrilled about the game, but, in retrospect, we shouldn't have many regrets as long as we learned from this. A few points:
- First, my confession: I turned the game off when there were still a few minutes to play. It was just too frustrating to watch. Some may find that a weak excuse, nut my wife was watching with me and I didn't want to damage the relationship...
- In summary, Notre Dame brought their A+ game and we brought our D- game. I don't see that happening very often the rest of the year. Like ever.
- Notre Dame was just unstoppable shooting. How many 3's did they drill as the shot clock expired? A lot of them were even contested. Sean was right in his recap - they were in video game "F You" mode tonight.
- Nobody on the Orange could buy a shot tonight. When was the last time we had that many airballs in a game? And we obviously weren't following up the misses because we couldn't rebound. Ugly performance.
- JT1Night had a great comment in the recap that the problem with the refs was killing the momentum any time we built it. We all know how horrible Higgins is, and we know there will be calls like ticky-tack reach-ins on us while their big dudes shove, swing elbows, and on one occasion jab Keita in the ribs with a pool cue* without a whistle. That hurt us. But our inability to shoot and rebound is what killed us.
- There was a discussion before the Nova game about what a good loss would be. A number of folks felt that the best case would be a road loss against a team we were supposed to beat. That wouldn't give us doubt that we can beat top teams, but rather serve as a wake-up call. Um, I'm pretty sure that's what happened last night. It should remind these guys that they need to show up every game.
- All that said, was this really a bad loss looking back? FatK44 pointed out that despite the difference in level of play between the two teams, we only lost by single digits. Plus, Notre Dame isn't great this year, but they're solid, and that's known as a difficult place to play on the road. It's not like we almost lost at home to Rutgers or something.
OK, I've (almost) said enough. Monday night will be tough again without Fab, but I'm not concerned about this team. We still have the talent and the depth to beat anyone in the country. Besides, all we really need to worry about is beating 6 straight anyones in March and April. And that's a long way off still.
* - May not have actually happened.