March Madness is filled with Sadness and Gladness, but for the I.U. men it ended early on a sour note. The sad part is that we’ll never see this starting lineup again, as graduation and the NBA takes its toll. It’s particularly difficult because there are no supportive players, with the exception of Xavier Johnson if he gets another year, and sole returning starter Trey Galloway, that made any kind of significant contribution this season. Granted, Geronimo, Leal, and Duncomb have been hurt, while Reneau had to play in the shadows of TJD and Race Thompson. Gunn, Banks, and Bates have been disappointing, so we’ll have to rely on the transfer portal and the two incoming freshman, Jakai Newton and Gabe Cupps, to put together any kind of competitive team.

The BIG 10 once again failed to deliver in the tournament, showing that the talent in our league is relatively average. The Big East and SEC each have three representatives. The defending champion Big 12 has two competitors, while the remaining eight conferences send one each, including the Big 10 that started with eight possibilities. Michigan State in 2000 was the last BIG to win it all, twenty-three long years ago. To be fair, Indiana was the runner-up in 2002 to Maryland, before the Terps joined the conference in 2014.

I.U. has yet to win a BIG 10 basketball tournament in the 25-years since its inception, let alone add another national championship banner. Adding more teams will make this even more difficult, not to mention physically draining after a long season of butting heads. As a fan, I find this all very discouraging. Thinking about next year’s chances certainly doesn’t make me feel any better. Mine is a seemingly hopeless, two-decade-plus case of March Sadness.