11 March 2011

But losing the semis isn't the end of the world...

Ricky Berry, the San Jose State player who was the ninth overall pick of the 1988 NBA Draft, came from a mediocre 14-15 SJSU team that lost in the Big West semifinals to Utah State on March 11, 1988. Berry played one season with the Sacramento Kings but committed suicide in August 1989.

Also, other NBA greats have played on teams that didn't make it all the way to the final four and even lost in conference semifinals (but still got NCAA berths).

Shaquille O'Neal (LSU 1989-1992; pro career 1992-present): LSU lost the 1992 SEC tournament to eventual champs Kentucky but advanced two rounds in the NCAA tournament that year

Jason Kidd (Cal 1991-1994; pro career 1994-present): Cal lost first round of 1994 NCAA tournament to 12th-seed Green Bay by 4 points

Baron Davis (UCLA 1997-1999; pro career 1997-present): UCLA lost first round of 1999 NCAA tournament by one point to Detroit

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