Jordan Bell became a star for the Oregon Ducks during the NCAA Tournament, but he was a bit of a mess after losing to North Carolina Saturday night in the Final Four.
“I had two opportunities to (box out) and I didn’t do it … We lost the game because of me,” he told reporters afterward, his quiet voice wavering.
Indeed, Bell failed to box out on the back end of free throws twice in the final second. The Tar Heels missed all four free throws, but secured both rebounds to seal the 77-76 win and reach the national championship game against Gonzaga on Monday night.
Whatever blame Bell wants to put himself, there’s no denying the Ducks wouldn’t have been in position to win it without him. Bell had 13 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks in the loss.
His coach, Dana Altman, wasn’t having it, either.
“Jordan felt terrible. But I told him, ‘Buddy, you got 16 rebounds, we wouldn’t have been in this position if it hadn’t been for you,'” said Altman.