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The 5 stages of grief: UVA basketball edition



University of Virginia


The 5 stages of grief: UVA basketball edition

"This is life. It can't define you." -Tony Bennett

Sarah Rose


I think it's safe to say that everyone is still in a state of shock right about now. The outcome was not something that any of us anticipated, and now we must learn to accept this sad fate and begin to move on.

Stage 1: Denial

This is pretty much where I'm at right now. I had high hopes for the tournament this season, excited that UVA finally could win it all. I didn't really think for a second that we wouldn't make it through the first round or two, but shit happens. I'm more confused than anything, tbh. First off, how on Earth was that team a #16 seed because they seriously didn't miss a shot. I mean hats off to UMBC (which I now know stands for University of Maryland Baltimore County) because they were really on fire. By the end of the game, I felt that I would almost be shocked if their 3's didn't fall in. That is certainly not what I expected out of this game.

Stage 2: Anger

Everyone has their off days, that's a given. It just sucks that our team's off day happened to be during such a high-pressure national game. While it would be easy to be angry and blame the team, that is totally unfair; we got outplayed, and it's as simple as that. Instead, channel your anger into something that actually makes sense - like how mad you are that your bracket has been completely busted. Because I know that's what I still can't get over.

Stage 3: Bargaining

After the game, one of my friends said to me something along the lines of 'well maybe we had to lose so that another team could finally get a win'. It's hard to make sense of the fact that after being #1 in the nation for the past few weeks, we became the first #1 team to be defeated in the first round of the tournament. And not just that, but we were the overall #1 seed, it's not like we just snuck in there. I've tried to rationalize it in every way possible, but the only conclusion I keep reaching is that the only way this will be ok is if UMBC can make it all the way to the end and pull off a true Cinderella story. Go Retrievers, I guess.

Stage 4: Depression

Ugh, here we are again. Everything seemed like it was on the up and up, but we now remember how cocky we were to friends at other schools and it hits us all over again. We're out, they're in, and it's only round 2. It sucks that the season ended way faster than we expected it to, and that might take a bit longer to get over than I thought it would.

Stage 5: Acceptance

As excited as we were for the tournament, there are a few silver linings that deserve some recognition. First, I think it is safe to say that most of our grades will thank us for actually being able to open a textbook and not remain glued to the tv/computer screen, watching every single basketball game for the next 2+ weeks. And even if not, at least now we can say that we tried.
Second, we can really say that we have the classiest basketball program. We definitely got our butts kicked in that game, but Tony Bennett gave, in my opinion, an incredible speech after ending up on the losing end of college basketball's biggest upset. Not only is our coach cute, but he's classy as well.
Finally, we get to look forward to the amazing seasons ahead of us. We still have a relatively young team filled with immense raw talent, and while it will suck to lose a few of the guys next year, the road will only lead up from here and I, for one, cannot wait to see where it goes.

This game just wasn't in the cards for us, and you shouldn't let that overshadow all the hard work the UVA basketball team put in this year.

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