The Mustangs had high hopes and big expectations coming off winning both the regular season conference championship and conference tournament championship. Coming in as a number six seed, they expected to make a deep run into the tournament and hopefully surprise even more people than they did last season with an NIT Championship game run. But Larry Brown had his Mustangs expecting to surprise the world and make a deep run into April. But even he knew the first game would be as challenging as the last game.
While there are many around the country who will say the Mustangs got robbed, and the play never should have been called goaltending, there are as many others who will say it was by letter of the law. I am not here to debate whether or not the call was correct or not. Sometimes in a tournament setting, you will have calls that can change the way a game goes and unfortunately for SMU, this was a call which went against them. It is part of the “madness” which fans live for. But I will say this, Larry Brown will use this tough exit as motivation for next year…
Larry Brown is a hall of fame coach, who has come onto the Hilltop and changed the perception of SMU basketball completely. SMU will probably start having a reputation for being a basketball school from now on. He is recruiting some of the best talent the area has to offer and each season has been better than the last. So, this tough loss will now be his “rallying” cry for next season. The Mustangs will be returning eight players from this year’s roster and each one of them will want to erase the bad taste in their mouths from this loss to UCLA.
Much like we saw this year, the Mustangs were a team on a mission after being snubbed for the NCAA tournament and losing in the NIT championship. The Mustangs made sure there was no question they deserved a tournament bid. And next season will be much of the same as they will want to get back to the NCAA tournament and go much further next season. I would almost predict that next season will be better than this season was.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook