Full disclosure: I was at a Christmas party tonight and didn't see the game. I can't comment on the specifics of why tonight went wrong, but I'm afraid we're all quite familiar at this point with the general malaise of this basketball team during the months of November and December.
I do know how it felt to turn on the radio between stops and hear we were down 30-16, at home. And I know how unfortunately unsurprising it was to check my phone in the second half and see us getting back closer but never close enough. So goes an eventual 65-58 loss with details such as 3 of 24 from the three point line and the school record for blocks allowed (12) in our building.
I can't talk about tonight, but the problem isn't just tonight, and everyone knows it. The question is less, "Why did we lose to NC State?" and more, "Why does this team lose to so many NC States?" (No offense to the Wolfpack, who whipped us tonight clearly).
Here's the thing: you can't ask us to be patient. I mean, you can, but we won't listen. We will, at this point, either laugh or get even angrier. The answer depends on whether or not you've already given up on this team, making anger the preferable choice because at least anger is still emotional investment.
It's a choice fewer are making already. I don't know what the actual attendance was tonight, but they announced 14,831. In two December home games this year the Vols average 14,218, a number that will likely drop after tonight's outcome and a date with Morehead State two days before Christmas. Here are the December home averages for Tennessee basketball the last four years:
- December 2013: 14,218
- December 2012: 15,830
- December 2011: 15,910
- December 2010: 17,736