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Kentucky Fans Experience the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat in Seconds

Kentucky fan reactions to the final seconds of the UNC game were beautiful and human art.

by Sean Newell
Mar 27 2017, 1:50pm

Assuming you have no allegiance to either the universities of Kentucky or North Carolina, you were treated to a wonderful basketball game that kept you on the edge of your seat for 40 minutes. Assuming your allegiances lie with North Carolina, you were treated to a basketball game that tested your mettle but ultimately rewarded your faith in dramatic fashion. Assuming your allegiances lie with Kentucky...man, I am sorry. But we are all going to laugh at you now because we're all jealous haterz and other people's pain is fun.

Kentucky tied the game with just about seven seconds left on the clock on a deep, contested three from Malik Monk. The crowd went nuts, Jim Nantz went nuts, and Kentucky fans everywhere went nuts. Here's who didn't go nuts: Bill Raftery. There was no trademark "Onions!" yelled yet on this broadcast because UNC immediately took the ball and pushed it up court, getting the ball to Luke Maye, who as we know by now, drilled the game-winning shot (and got the "Onions!" shout out).

That's what is playing out here in these videos. There's something comforting about watching people react to an event and seeing the exact moments when their joy and despair have been frozen in time that you can revisit later, like re-reading a favorite book. The video above—some man-on-the-street footage—is raw, like a band's first EP that is brimming with emotion and energy, but maybe short on production value. This one here, though, has all of that emotion, but the band got some money and spent it in the studio. Your mileage may vary, but either way, it's all art.

The first video has an undeniable realness to it; the lone UNC fan clapping after Maye's shot is a marvel, if for no other reason that he didn't get slugged for it. In the second, the man calmly eating popcorn speaks to the resiliency of the human spirit.

And hey, at least it wasn't Laettner.

Update: And here is another. We are going to update this post all day as these come rolling in because they are so good: