I thought for sure that my alma mater, Morth Texas, would be making a return to the NCAA tournament this year. They had a pretty good regular season, and they had dominated so far in the Sun Belt Tournament. Plus, when I turned on the radio after rehearsal tonight, they had a seemingly safe lead with just over a minute to go.
And what a difference that minute made. After a couple of key turnovers by the Mean Green, Arkansas-Little Rock needed a near-miracle to even tie the game and send it into overtime. But UALR senior Solomon Bozeman hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left to put the Trojans ahead by one, and UNT's inbound pass was stolen by another Trojans player to seal the 64-63 win that kept the Green out of the Big Dance. (And while the Trojans will head there instead, for the first time since 1990, they may well have to do a play-in game with their 19-16 record; UNT, by contrast, ended the season at 22-11.)
Still, it was a great year for Coach Johnny Jones and his senior-laden team. I don't expect a huge drop-off for next year, though, as UNT has become known during the Jones era as a good place to play, so I'm sure that some of the better players in the state will still flock to Denton.
The next major UNT sporting event will be the first game in the new football stadium in September. I can't wait!