(CBS) Two days later, the sting had only worn off a smidgen.
The agony of Northwestern’s 79-73 loss to top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday was still fresh in the mind of Wildcats coach Chris Collins, but so too was his appreciation of what his team had done. For the first time in school history, Northwestern advanced to the NCAA Tournament — and it won its first-round game too before bowing out at 24-12.
“The finality of the NCAA Tournament to me is the most brutal part of it,” Collins said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score. “You get excited when you’re called on (Selection) Sunday, you’re in, you go out to the site, you win a game, you’re preparing like crazy. And then you lose a hard-fought game, and it’s just over like that. You don’t prepare for the finality of it, especially with a group you love so much.
“Emotional night on Saturday, realizing it was over. We had such a fun run. Being able to get home, get a little bit of sleep and kind of reflect on all the good that these guys did has put a smile on my face. It was a huge step forward for our program this year.”