My sports career ended at 15 when I didn't make the junior varsity basketball team, so I can't truly understand the disappointment that a Frank Kaminsky or Sam Dekker is experiencing after the UW loss to Duke.
But Larry Bird lost the title game in 1979 and he did OK. Everything these guys experienced in a joyful season of basketball, even with an ending they didn't want, are now part of their character as they move on to the NBA or something else.
They will never forget the friendships, the lessons from Bo Ryan's brilliant stewardship of the team, and the appreciation of Wisconsin fans for a job well done.
I'm not surprised to see these classy tweets just 48 hours after the game:
"My apologies for a disappointing end to the year, but thank you to all of Badger Nation. Very proud to be a part of this. All love." ~ Sam Dekker
"Never been more proud of a group in my entire life. What we achieved will never be taken away from us. Thank you for having me UW." ~ Frank Kaminsky