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Maui Invitational post-tournament thoughts

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The Bearcats, simply put, didn't deserve to win the championship game vs. Gonzaga on Wednesday night. They missed 10 of their final 11 three-point shots. They missed five free throws in overtime. They made 1 of 6 shots in the extra period. Their final shot came from a freshman in Cashmere Wright who hasn't shown the ability to finish his drives in the lane with a ball in the bucket.

So yeah, they didn't deserve to beat Gonzaga, particularly when the Bulldogs did such a nice job charging back into the game in the second half.

But all of that is OK. During the tournament, the Bearcats showed how tough their defense is going to be this year. By beating Vanderbilt and Maryland, two ranked teams, they showed their talent and their desire to win. They fell short in the final Wednesday night, but if I'm Mick Cronin, I feel pretty good about how my team performed in Hawaii.

But in his postgame remarks, Cronin didn't sound too pleased.


In particular, he wasn't happy about giving up the 3-foot jumper to Zags center Robert Sacre that tied the game in regulation with about 14 seconds to play.

"We're up two, and you have to get a stop when you're up two," Cronin said on his postgame radio show. "We get a little soft on our pick and roll defense. They hit the roll guy, and he hits the 3-footer. That hurts. That's all we went over, to make them throw it back to their point guard, who's not going to shot it. That part of it is tough to swallow. If they would have made the shot on a tougher shot, I woud have understood."


Still, if you're a UC basketball fan, don't you have to feel better about the Bearcats after their three-game swing in Hawaii? I would imagine so.


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