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Not quite a breakthrough, but UAB still has a memorable season without the NCAA Tournament

Aaron Johnson covers his face during the North Carolina game. Despite loss, no season to cry over.
Aaron Johnson covers his face during the North Carolina game. Despite loss, no season to cry over.
Butch Dill / Associated Press

Basketball season is coming to a close. The National Championship game is almost here. For UAB, the season is already over. The Blazers had a disaster of a C-USA finale against Southern Miss in the C-USA Tourney to assure themselves no bid to the NCAA Tournament. All was not lost, however.

Remember what was said before the season even started? Many believed that UAB would be lucky to win more than 10 games. They were supposed to finish near the bottom of the Conference USA ranks. Both of those predictions were blown out of the water by UAB this year.

UAB (25-9) won a total of 25 games (tying the record for most wins by UAB in a season) and finished in third place in the C-USA standings. UAB probably could have slipped into the NCAA Tournament had they at least made it to the championship game in the conference tourney. They beat two Top 25 teams, and found themselves in the Top 25 more than once this season.

Many criticize Coach Mike Davis for always hyping up his teams and falling dramatically short by the end of the season. There was no preseason hype for this Blazer squad. In fact, they had dramatically overachieved by the time non-conference play ended. Perhaps that is why it hurt a bit more this season not to make the field of 65.

UAB did make the NIT, however. And they did a pretty darn good job once play started, too. A blow-out win over Coastal Carolina, Another blow-out win over NC State on national TV. And finally, in a game that will almost certainly never happen again (at least at Bartow Arena), UAB brought the North Carolina Tar Heels to town and sold out the arena. That would become their finale game of the season as they lost a nail-biter 60-55 against a rebounding Roy Williams' squad. That game made ESPN, one of only two games played that day. 

People are still unhappy with they way things are going it seems, but maybe, just maybe this was a breakout year for Mike Davis. There will be some returning talent next season, and if this season is any indication, he might have some more talent up his sleeve. He probably won't tell you that, though. After all, every time he does, something bad seems to happen (Demarcus Cousins for example). 

It was no season to cry over, despite not making the tourney and losing your last home game- one that could have sent the Blazers to New York for the final four of the NIT, UAB created a very exciting season and got some pretty big wins. For all the Davis haters, he has earned at least one more year to give it a shot.


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