Now what?

It was a dream season for Middle Tennessee basketball. The Blue Raiders rode into the Sun Belt Tournament with a first round bye and dreams of their first NCAA appearance since the Berlin Wall fell. Unfortunately, much like that damn wall, the dream fell apart.

So this is the time to ask the question: now what? There are some fans who keep hoping that an at-large bid could still be in the future. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but that isn't going to happen. I detailed my reasons why in a thread earlier this week, but the fact of the matter is that Middle Tennessee couldn't come through when it needed to the most.

More realistic folks are looking to the NIT. That's not a terrible way to end a season, but it is a letdown for a team that was sitting so pretty just a month ago. There are rumblings of a potential matchup against Tennessee at the Murphy Center, but that's still to be determined and I have no insight as to what the possibility of that actually happening are. We'll just have to wait and find out there.

Regardless of the post-season fate for Middle Tennessee, this isn't how folks wanted things to end. So there is going to be some emotional backlash for the next few days as die-hard fans go through their grieving process: denial, anger, sadness. It's already on display in the men's basketball forum and it's only going to get worse as folks get back into town.

One thing that has already been brought up – and is surely to be brought up continuously in the coming weeks – is Kermit Davis's status.

As publisher of the site, I'm generally not one to choose sides in debates like this. I try to present the facts to both arguments and let the conversation play out in the forum. This time around I'm actually going to draw a line in the sand and voice my opinion:

There is no logical argument for getting rid of Kermit Davis.

None. Whatsoever. The man led Middle Tennessee to new heights. They received national attention all season long, had several impressive victories along the way, got a handful of Top 25 votes and won the Sun Belt regular season title by a comfortable margin.

Just one year ago, fans would have killed for that sort of season. As I stated before, this isn't how anybody wanted it to end, but that's how it happened. Stating that a man who brought a conference championship and the best record in Middle Tennessee basketball history should be fired is taking a wrong turn at the intersections of perception and reality.

What Kermit Davis was able to do this season was a miracle. After the disastrous football season, he gave Blue Raider fans a reason to be proud of their athletic program. Instead of another .500ish season for folks to grumble through, he gave them a reason to cheer. He also brought national coverage to the boys in blue – which could pay dividends in recruiting and scheduling for the next several seasons.

What I'm trying to say is that Davis deserves his job now more than ever. In my opinion, he earned the extension granted him not long ago. You know the one . . . where people questioned whether athletic director Chris Massaro had lost his mind. As it turns out, ‘ol Massaro might just know what he's doing.

The same could be said for the coach who just took Middle Tennessee to a 25-6 record, but I'm guessing folks don't necessarily want to hear that right now.

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