For many Kansas University basketball fans, Saturday night's tough season-ending NCAA Tournament loss to UCLA felt like a kick to the gut.
"We're feeling pretty sad. I just really thought this was their year," said Lindsay Ferrell, a Lawrence resident who works in the development office at Baker University in Baldwin City.
Fans couldn't help but ask questions a day after their team was eliminated from the tournament, one win shy of the Final Four.
As the Jayhawk flags still flew on some Lawrence homes and businesses Sunday, even the most optimistic thoughts surrounding the team for next year came with uncertainty.
"I hope that none of them go off to the NBA," said Alicia Adams, a Lawrence pediatric nurse.
Before some fans could think that far ahead, they relayed stories about how quiet Massachusetts Street became Saturday night and aired a few grievances about watching the Jayhawks score only 55 points in the loss after such a successful season when they lit up many scoreboards.
"I don't think they are used to going up against a defensive buzz saw," said Joe Ortiz, a barber at Rex's Stadium Barber Shop, 1033 Mass.
"I thought they were going to win, but that second half, it didn't look too great," said Ko Vichith, a Wichita resident who spent the weekend in Lawrence with friends.
Although several people said they were happy that KU advanced so far compared with the 2005 and 2006 first-round upset losses, many fans wondered what could have been after a successful 33-5 season that abruptly came to a halt in San Jose, Calif.
"It was obviously frustrating. We could have done a lot more," said Kevin Bell, a Frontenac junior studying sports management at KU.
Because many Lawrence residents have an emotional investment in KU basketball, the Rev. Nate Rovenstine on Sunday morning had to cheer up several members of his congregation at Lawrence Wesleyan Church, 3705 Clinton Parkway, including himself.
He said he briefly and lightly mentioned the game in his sermon and that often a disappointment involving the Jayhawks can bring focus back to other more pressing issues in people's lives.
"I try to take it as a chance to talk about the real values we should have in life. But, at the same time, it was a little bit of a somber mood," said Rovenstine, the church's lead pastor.
Some fans could look past the pain to celebrate KU's accomplishments this year.
"Well, I think they had an awesome season. They really did," said Adams, the pediatric nurse.
Others weren't yet in the mood to think about a 2007-2008 KU team and its potential.
"No, sorry, no," said Bell, the KU junior.