Roy Hibbert sat on the bench, averting his eyes from the game before him, willing his mind elsewhere. Home. Egypt. Anywhere but here, in this excruciating moment. This was not how it was supposed to end. This was not the way he’d pictured his curtain call in Blue and Gray – excommunicated to the bench with five fouls, watching helplessly as Jon Wallace – his teammate, his friend, the man he’d built a program with – suffered alone on the floor. This was not the way he’d imagined walking off the floor for the last time, met not by the cheers of adoring fans, but by the blank stares of younger teammates, the ones that had looked to him for answers all season. This was not the way he had envisioned his coach, the man who had always made him believe in himself, looking at this moment.

He had never seen that look on John Thompson III’s face – the one that said, “I’m sorry.”

Such was the nightmarish scene Hibbert and the rest of his senior classmates endured Sunday afternoon, bested by an incredible performer who simply defied words.

Just twenty minutes before, everything had been going splendidly. The Hoyas had been executing to perfection. They had converted 5-of-7 shots from beyond the arc. They had out-rebounded the Wildcats 20-14 despite Hibbert’s foul trouble. Most importantly, they had played tough man-to-man defense and rendered the incredible Stephen Curry, the man who had torched Gonzaga two days earlier for 40 points, to two field goals. They had held the hostile Cat-and-Carolina crowd at bay. They were up 11, one half away from their third consecutive trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Then, Curry busted out of his funk. After a frustrating opening half, the scrawny sophomore took his team on his sleight shoulders, scored 25 points, and proved himself among a of rare breed of March performers that cannot be contained in the clutch. Slowly and calmly, with patience befitting a true veteran, he led the Wildcats to the round of sixteen for the first time since the Nixon administration.

He coaxed Chris Wright into hacking him hard, then softly sank two free throws. He skipped around a screen and connected from the outermost arc of the three-point line. He charged past Jeremiah Rivers for an and-1 on one possession, then slithered his way through the lane for a layup on the next. He drained a three from the top of the key with Austin Freeman’s pointer finger in his cornea. He established himself as the game’s – and so far the tournament’s – best player.

The truly great shooters do not get rattled. Curry’s shot may have left him in the first half, when he missed four straight three pointers, but his confidence never did.

“I try to have that feeling [of confidence] every time I shoot the ball,” said Curry, who averaged 35 points over his two games in Raleigh. “You don’t want to shoot not to miss; you want to shoot to make it.”

Yet more astounding than Curry’s 30 points is the fact that he never turned the ball over. Not once in 36 exhausting minutes, even though he had played a draining 39 some forty-eight hours before. Not once during the maddening 2-of-8 dry spell when everything he threw up seemed to wiggle its way out of the basket. Not when the four headed-hydra of Hoyas attacked him each time he crossed the floor. Georgetown’s top-ranked defense could stunt his shooting touch, but it could not spook him.

There was simply nothing the Hoyas could do. There was no solution for Thompson, arguably the best game-day coach in college basketball, no science to stop the magic.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, a boisterous din echoed down on Roy Hibbert, Jon Wallace, Tyler Crawford and Patrick Ewing Jr. As they left the floor for the last time together, they probably could not comprehend the magnitude of what they had accomplished in their four years. That will come later, when the numbness subsides and a sense of perspective returns. For now, there is just still quiet.

“I just feel like I’ve let [the seniors] down,” said Thompson. “They have put this program on their back, put us in a position where we can possibly have success in the future. I feel bad for these guys. You know, we lost to a terrific team today, but I can’t -“

He paused for a moment, searching for words to explain what he felt for Wallace and Crawford, Ewing and Hibbert, and for what had just happened to them.

“I just feel bad for my seniors.”

And so it ends for Thompson’s cornerstone class. Something incredible was going to have to happen to send these four home prematurely, and that is exactly what happened here today. The greatest class in the history of Georgetown basketball was blinded by one man’s one shining moment.

And that is all that is left to say.

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