Take this moment and hold it, gentleman. Days like these are far and few between. It is not every day your sports team dominates its conference and completes a championship run against the defending national champions.
I’m not sure another championship matchup could yield as much satisfaction as SMU vs UConn. The amount of hatred from the Huskie faithful was stifling in the XL Center.
When the Mustang band was introduced for the national anthem, they were met with boos. Who boos a national anthem performer?
I can understand the hate, all they have heard for a year is how SMU defeated them twice last season- but that doesn’t mean you boo everyone and everything related to Dallas.
Still, the amount of animosity from them made the win so much sweeter.
“I don't know if any team had to go on a home court to win a conference tournament,” SMU head coach Larry Brown said. “I'm so proud of them.”
Once again the odds were stacked against SMU. This tournament favored UConn and if any team was going to win it should have been the Huskies.
But you know what UConn didn’t have?
They didn’t have the depth SMU has. The more time I spend around this team, the more I realize how much of a team they actually are. I mean, just look at the box score. It is rare that one guy has a crazy, statistically outrageous night while the rest of team rides his coat tails *cough* Purvis *cough*.
I don’t care how strong a person you are, no one makes it (100 percent) on their own and the same applies to basketball. You can’t expect to win without the entire team working well as a unit. When you look at the box score and see almost the entire roster scoring and flirting with double figures- they must be doing something right.
And when they have faced adversity, they have come together and moved past it.
“For us to come out here and get a victory at UConn it just speaks to what we've done this whole year,” Ryan Manuel said. “Going through adversity and once again we prevail.”
Once SMU built its huge lead, I knew SMU was going to win. And even when UConn made its run late, I knew the Mustangs would win- because they finish.
This team finishes- they don’t coast to the end. So I knew they wouldn’t surrender all of their lead and they didn’t.
All that’s left is for them to finish the right way.