It's been a fun ride, Murray State.
The Racers' season ended on Saturday evening, as Marquette made a late run to win 62-53 in the round of 32. It was the finest moment for Murray State this year, as All-American guard Isaiah Canaan shot just 4-for-17 from the field, while Donte Poole and Ivan Aska made a combined 6-for-26 from the field. As a team, the Racers shot 4-for-21 from 3-point range and turned it over 16 times.
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Down the stretch, Marquette's half-court defense was just too much for Murray State. The Racers couldn't find open shots and really struggled to create any offense in the final minutes. At the other end, Marquette had too many matchup problems for the Racers, who had trouble dealing with Jae Crowder and Davante Gardner late in the game.
Despite the loss, Murray State's season was one of the best stories of the college basketball season. Under first-year head coach Steve Prohm, the Racers were the last team to lose a game this season, going through their first 23 games without a blemish. They became a national talking point as the wins piled up, with the conversation bouncing between whether they would lose a game and whether they were a real threat in the NCAA tournament.
Once they lost on February 9 to Tennessee State, everyone leaped off the bandwagon, with some questioning if the Racers would even get an at-large bid if they lost a couple more games. They suddenly became a team that apparently peaked too early and would be an obvious upset pick in the NCAA tournament. So Murray State simply went out and steamrolled Saint Mary's, and then won the Ohio Valley's regular-season and conference tournament title.
Anyone that played Murray State this season would tell you the Racers were a tough team to beat. Thirty-one teams can attest to that. Colorado State, its round of 64 NCAA tournament opponent, can attest to that. Even Marquette can attest to that. Think the Golden Eagles were excited to face the Racers in Kentucky in the round of 32? I highly doubt it.
The run fell short of the second weekend for Murray State, but it was a helluva ride for the Racers. When people look back at this college basketball season, Murray State will be one of the best stories.