Sunday, March 6, 2011

Opportunity wasted

As a once promising season quickly melted down, we were haunted by the prospect of a lost opportunity.

That feeling has been cemented with Stony Brook's 22-point dismantling of regular season champion Vermont in the America East semifinals. Without checking, it just might be the worst loss ever for a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Shocking? No, not really. America East this season was there for the taking. The top tier of the league was as unimpressive as we have ever seen it.

This doesn't take anything away from Vermont and the season it put together. But it does point out that UMaine, after deservedly establishing itself as the midway-point favorite in the league, absolutely flushed a golden opportunity to get into the championship game again and quite possibly win it.

Instead, the Black Bears entered the tournament with a whimper and went down for the second straight year against the No. 6 seed. Opportunities like this don't come around often and when they do, teams have to grab it by the shoulders and hold on tight.

The Black Bears appeared to completely disregard the opportunity before them. How else do you explain a 1-8 finish? How else do you explain defensive performances that would make the old Loyola-Marymount teams blush.

UMaine had the talent, the depth and the versatility to play with and defeat anybody in America East this season. Yet, the team was barely functioning by the time February and March rolled around.

What happened to the Black Bears is a puzzle that needs to be solved in Orono.

1 comment:

Oscar said...

I agree with every word. Maine should have been an outstanding team from beginning to end.

And, for what it's worth, I'm going to miss Burnatowski. Hope he transfers to Vermont!