The next time a college basketball team makes a run at an unbeaten regular season, they'd be wise not to tempt fate by printing t-shirts celebrating the accomplishment.
First Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season Jan. 21 at Notre Dame just days after it began selling t-shirts commemorating its 20-0 start. Then Murray State met the same fate less than three weeks later after releasing similar t-shirts proclaiming itself the "last of the unbeaten."
Three games shy of its BracketBusters showdown with Saint Mary's and six games short of the end of the regular season, Murray State cracked under the pressure of maintaining its historic streak. They squandered a 13-point second-half lead and fell 72-68 to visiting Tennessee State, watching their dream of an undefeated season crumble amid a hail of costly turnovers, missed blockouts and mental mistakes.
Trailing by one with 10 seconds to go in the game, Murray State wasted a chance to win at the buzzer when Jewuan Long's inbound pass intended for star Isaiah Canaan was stolen by Tennessee State's Patrick Miller. Two missed free throws from Miller gave Murray State a second opportunity to win it, but Canaan lost control of his dribble as he zoomed up court and committed a loose ball foul diving after the ball.