But even if they don’t, I simply can’t emphasize this enough: a close February road loss is meaningless. Yes, the Panthers lost last night at Providence. Fans storm the court, pundits fret, rankings shift. But the truth is all national champions go through this, often during the last week of February. It’s practically a rite of passage.
On February 26, 2006, Floridalost on the road to Alabama, a team that barely made the NCAA tournament as a 10-seed.
On February 24, 2007, Florida lost on the road to LSU, a team that didn’t even make the NCAA tournament.
On February 23, 2008, Kansaslost on the road to Oklahoma State, a team that didn’t even make the NCAA tournament.