The final moments of Oregon vs. North Carolina came down to the fundamentals. Two basketball basics are hammered into your head as a kid learning the game: triple threat stance, and box out. Well, the latter of the two was somehow lost on Oregon in the waning seconds of what became a tight footrace last night, as North Carolina snatched away the win 77-76 thanks to two huge offensive rebounds off of free throws. And 6'9" junior Jordan Bell was there after the game, talking to reporters, trying to mop up the blame with tears streaming down his face.
"If I would've just boxed out," the junior told reporters. "I had two opportunities to do it, I missed both of them. We lost the game because of it."
Bell even later tweeted out a blanket apology:
Bell shouldn't hang his head too low, as Oregon's head coach Dana Altman emphasized, "Jordan felt terrible. But I told him, 'Buddy, you got 16 rebounds. We wouldn't have been in this position if it hadn't been for you.'" But for Bell, who later said, "This is going to hurt forever," I'm sure that the Fate game is going to be harder to parse out than that. At least for now.