.....and we let them off the hook!
Chandler Parsons and company fell just a bit short in their quest to reach the Final Four. In dramatic fashion. Let's take a look at how it went down. After dominating the entire game in the paint, with the game tied:
Chandler Parsons doesn't show up at all.
Erving Walker shoots roughly a 93 foot shot with 5 seconds left in regulation.
Kenny Boynton shoots roughly a 92 foot shot with 7 seconds left in overtime.
The referees decide to turn the game into a free-throw contest.
Macklin, Tyus and Young dominate the game for the better part of 35 minutes but then in crunch time...nothing.
But, I've got some good news, as Hook85 asked in the game thread, "When is football season?" Well, it is a mere five months away, give or take a few days.
As I said before the tournament started, I thought the Gators were primed to make an Elite Eight run. Well the tournament didn't shape up nearly the way I thought it would. But heading into the game with Butler, I thought to myself that the Gators had the easiest path to the Final Four, and they in turn just threw it all away.
We can debate all week about the reasons why they lost (though I don't think there will be much debate as we all agree to the reasons) and how they lost. Bad shot selection comes to mind. So does a plethora of other things.
Bill Donovan and the plays he called during the last five minutes of regulation and in overtime are especially noteworthy. Maybe it is just the players (Walker and Boynton I'm looking at you) that brought about the play calls because that is their specialty, but I would like to think that they could have adapted to a different style a little bit more than they did in this game and in the season as a whole.
So while we say goodbye to Chandler Parsons, Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus, it would be wise to look toward the future and that future looks decent. Boynton, Walker, Murphy, Wilbekin and Patric Young (hopefully) return next season to lead a relatively young but experienced team.
Even though the season ended (in my opinion disappointment and shock) we have to know that these guys gave it everything they had. Maybe we as fans have been spoiled by "Oh Fours" and what they did. Maybe we need to realize that while Billy Donovan is a great coach (one of the best the University of Florida has ever had), he isn't perfect.
With that being said, I wish good luck in the future to Parsons, Macklin and Tyus. It has been an interesting ride.