Ending was a 'one in a million,' says Coach Jake - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ending was a 'one in a million,' says Coach Jake

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“That is a one in a million deal,” says Coach Ben Jacobson, referring to the way the Panthers lost a 12-point lead with just 36-seconds left in regulation. Coach Jake says he has yet to watch those final seconds of regulation in the double overtime loss in the NCAA round of 32.

“I told the guys this last night as well. You' re never going to to able to square it. You're never going to be able to sit down and say, okay This is why it happened.”

Coach added, “To me there isn't a need to square it up. It's a one in a million deal. We happened to be on the wrong side of it. Friday night, we were on the right side of a one in a half million deal, right? You're probably going to make that half court more often than you're to get beat the way we did."

But, both of those were remarkable...and we happened to experience them both in the same weekend.”

Heading into the Texas A & M game, the Panthers had won 13 of their last 14 games, including the first round win over Texas and the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. UNI finished with 24 victories on the season. Still, it hurts when it's over.

“Really, no matter when that comes, that is as difficult a conversation as you're going to have with your team. As a head coach, when you're in that situation, when you're n that situation with your guys, but, in particular, your seniors, that is a really, really hard locker room to be in.”

The thing that's I've so impressed with our guys this year, is what Wes, Bo and Paul have done for the leadership of our team, to get us to this point, I mean, that's really what we talked about.”

The Panthers say goodbye to Seniors Wes Washpun, Paul Jesperson and Matt Bohannon, but return a host of talent, including four redshirt freshman, whom will be eligible when the Panthers get ready for next season.

The Panthers knew early on this season they had plenty of talent.

Jake says, “We knew we had a really good team. When you beat North Carolina and you beat Iowa State, your guys understand that we've got a team that's capable of doing dome things that are going to be pretty special.”

This year's team went 24-13, but could have given up during a January slump, in which UNI lost 6 of 7 games.

“Some of their goals were looking like they were so far away, that we might not get to them,. And, at that point it's easy to get selfish, for anybody. And, our guys didn't do that. That is the thing I'm most proud of with this year's team. I have not been part of a group that has rallied the way these guys have, and then maximized all of our abilities to put us in position to play in the sweet 16. And, I think, had we gotten there, we would have won again." 

"This team found something that was really remarkable.”

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