Sometimes you're the hero, and sometimes you're the goat.
The heroes were out on Thursday in the second round of the 2013 NCAA basketball tournament, led by Marquette's Vander Blue, Butler's Andrew Smith and Michigan State's Derrick Nix.
On the flip side, there are plenty of disappointing performances that will likely be considered in deciding the blame for why teams aren't playing in April.
It's never fun to look at mistakes, but the NCAA tournament is an event labeled by both the good and the bad. For every buzzer-beater, dunk and three-point shot to put things out of reach, there's a terrible shooting performance, turnover and mental mistake that gives the victor a chance to take control.
Here are four performances that left more to be desired from the early part of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
The senior guard has been largely responsible for his team's success in both the regular season and tournaments over the past few seasons, but his last game for Saint Mary's is going to be one to forget.
After winning their "First Four" game against Middle Tennessee State, the Gaels had a tough matchup against Josh Pastner's Memphis Tigers. And after being down for much of the contest and crawling back late, the ball fell to Dellavedova with a chance to either tie or win the game as time expired.
If you're a Saint Mary's fan, he's likely the only guy in the gym you want to take the last shot.
But the senior's three-point try as time expired was long, ending his college career on a sour note in the second round of the tournament.
Dellavedova finished with just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting—certainly not the way he wanted to end his illustrious career with a team that's been a popular mid-major for much of his time on campus. He also had six turnovers.
Teammates weren't getting it done either (Stephen Holt and Beau Levesque combined to shoot 3-of-18), but Dellavedova is the guy that has to make big plays for this team to have success.
He didn't, and the Gaels are going home early.
Heading into this game, Mike Muscala and the Bucknell Bisons were a popular pick to send fellow mid-major powerhouse Butler home early.
The 6'11" senior averaged over 19 points and 11 rebounds during the regular season and was the major reason that many thought he and the Bisons would have an advantage over Butler and senior center Andrew Smith.
Smith got the better of the two players on this day, scoring 14 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in his team's 12-point second-round win. On the flip side, Muscala scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but shot 4-of-17 in the process and got to the free-throw line just once on the afternoon.
Bucknell matched up well against Butler and was in the game early on, but needed more from the big man to pull off the upset over the upset kings themselves.
With all the talk about Pittsburgh posing a significant threat to Gonzaga in the round of 32, Pitt reminded us on Thursday why that kind of speculation is premature.
The Panthers played uncharacteristically bad on both ends of the floor, shooting just 35 percent from the floor and 1-of-17 from the three-point line while turning it over 15 times.
Only Steven Adams (13 points, 11 rebounds) had a quality game for Jamie Dixon on Thursday, ironic because he was the Panther that many thought would disappear in such a loss.
Instead, Tray Woodall, Lamar Patterson and the rest of the team decided not to show up in the second round and gave up 47 points to the Wichita State Shockers in the second half. Pitt had a quiet season as a good defensive team that posed matchup problems for opponents, but Wichita State looked more excited to be there and took it to the Panthers on Thursday.
After last year's disappointing run in the second round against Louisville and a full season to think about that loss, I expected big things from De'Mon Brooks in Thursday's game against the Marquette Golden Eagles.
The Davidson Wildcats controlled the second half against Marquette and had no business losing the way they did.
It wasn't Brooks' stats that were the most disappointing aspect of his game on Thursday (11 points, eight rebounds, two blocks), but the most pivotal play of the game came after a Brooks turnover when all Davidson had to do was shoot free throws to win this game.
After Marquette cut it to one, Brooks inbounded the Ball to Jake Cohen (who had 20 points) and then proceeded to catch the reversal under the opponents' basket. As two Marquette defenders converged, Brooks got antsy and threw the ball away down the left sideline, giving Vander Blue a chance to play hero in Lexington.
Davidson then turned the ball over again with just one second to play and a full-court prayer the only option, but it was a saddening end to the season for a team that had a chance to play spoiler again for the first time since 2008.
Brooks will likely be in the NBA next season, but this one is going to hurt for quite some time.
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