HOUSTON – Shawn Vanzant sat in the corner of the Butler locker room, sobbing, his teammates said, at an almost uncontrollable level. Next to him was Matt Howard, a towel draped over his head, the tears coming just as hard.
Together the two Bulldogs seniors had shot 3 for 23, an absolutely abysmal, crushing performance in the biggest game of their lives. Connecticut was outside clipping the national championship nets. In here it was just hell; the aftermath of a great team gone bad – 12-of-64 shooting, a record-low 18.8 percent from the floor, a measly 41 total points, the lowest since the shot clock was invented.
Vanzant thought it was his fault. Howard felt no better.
And that's when Ronald Nored, eyes red and tear-filled himself, noticed his teammates, got up, crossed the locker room and reminded everyone what this entire pursuit is about.
He pulled Shawn Vanzant up off his stool and hugged his friend; physically and emotionally attempting to lift him out of his depression.