With time expiring, Virginia's Kyle Guy threw up a prayer from 3. He missed, and Auburn fans everywhere began their celebration.
But then the whistle blew.
A foul was called on Auburn's Samir Doughty that sent Guy to the line to shoot three; he made them all. That was the end of Auburn's historic run.
No one would have blamed Samir for being in low spirits, but what he did spoke volumes to his character. He was the first to console teammate Bryce Brown in the tunnel, and Doughty exemplified what it means to be an Auburn man in the locker room.
He sat in his locker after a heartbreaking loss and, instead of being frustrated, he took media questions with a poise and grace that most can only dream to have in that situation.
“They (the officials) do a great job at reffing and they’re trying to the best of their ability to make the right call," Doughty said. "I can’t question none of that.”
While Auburn fans across the world were disheveled and questioning every call or missed call during the final seconds of the game, Samir put that signature Philly toughness on display in a different way than usual.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“They’re gonna do their job the best they can," Doughty said. "The referees don’t try to tell me how to put a basketball in the hole, so I’m not gonna tell them how to make the right or wrong call."
He went on to talk about watching film on Guy and Ty Jerome and their tendencies to kick their legs out when they shoot. During Virginia's prior possession, Guy sunk a three and Samir said he defended him the exact same during that possession as the one that ended Auburn's historic run.
"I just tried to be right there, let him shoot the ball and whatever happens, happens," Doughty said. "I’m not really sure why they called that call but I’m pretty sure the refs made the right decision.”
Doughty answered the questions with dignity, but he did not dwell on the final call. Instead, he talked about what he would remember most about this season.
“Just how we fought every game," Doughty said. "We were in every game except one game this season. These guys got heart, every last one of these guys. We fought and tried to come together every game. We’re a family-oriented team that just fought. That’s what I’ll remember most.”
Doughty took the most difficult situation and made something positive out of it. He represented the Auburn Family with pride and showed what it truly means to be an Auburn man.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman