When they washed it down with a cup of the season's overall success, however, the defeat gradually became a little more palatable.
"No one wants to go out like that, but there's really nothing we can look down on," freshman center Brandon Davies said. "We had a great season and we broke a lot of records, we just ran into a great team that played a great basketball game, so we need to stay positive and build on this."
The Cougars did win 30 games for the first time in school history, were ranked for 11 straight weeks for the first time in school history, and Thursday's first-round win over Florida was the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 1993.
"I thought we showed a lot of character," junior Jackson Emery said. "In past years we've got off to a slow start or we kind of rolled over and died. But this year we kept fighting. A lot of guys are going to remember that coming back next year and it's just going to make us better and going to make us hungrier. We know what it takes."