NEW ORLEANS — The Jimmer Show finally skidded to a halt here where the mighty Mississippi ends at the gulf sea.
The end came in overtime against a talented SEC champion Florida squad that didn't do anything Jimmer hadn't seen before. Shots the All-American had converted against others in a season of glory, open looks from his patented launch pad from the top of his 36-inch jump, simply bounded harmlessly away at the end of regulation.
And so did BYU's run in the NCAAs.
Florida 83, BYU 74.
It may not have been the way Fredette wanted it to end.
But it was his flame to extinguish and he did it his way.
Fredette scored 32 points on 11-of-29 shooting. It was the most points scored against the Gators by anyone all year and it came in a game where the 71 three-pointers attempted by BYU and Florida set an NCAA Tournament record.
Jimmer just didn't get his share.
Fredette was just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. If he'd made just two more from distance, he'd have been a hero. If he'd made seven, like he did against Gonzaga, Florida would be headed home.
It was not to be.
Fredette didn't make a shot in the game until 6:17 remained in the first half. Then he scored 10 before intermission.
Before Florida took control of BYU in overtime, Fredette took a pair of bombs that missed with the score tied at 67 inside 1:47.
If freshman Kyle Collinsworth makes two instead of one free throw with 43 seconds left in regulation, maybe BYU wins and there is no overtime. Or, if Gators Chandler Parsons or Kenny Boynton hit shots in the final 14 seconds there is no overtime, either, only a Florida win.
The college icon of 2010-2011 went down gunning. He admitted fatigue in the end of regulation.
"Maybe a little bit at the end," said Fredette. "We played the whole game and I was a little bit tired. But it's not an excuse. They were ready to go, especially in that overtime. We had a chance, we got a stop, we had a chance to get a rebound, they got an offensive rebound and put it out. And you never know what could have happened if we got that rebound. But they definitely had fresh legs and they were ready to go in that overtime."
Donning a bandage on a chin that will need stitches, a left shoulder pink and scratched, Fredette limped off the podium in the pressroom with a contusion in his left calf muscle suffered in the first half.
"It happened in the game," said Fredette. "I don't know what happened, if I got kneed or if it cramped. It definitely didn't cramp, but I got kneed or got a little strain or something. But my upper left calf was kind of bothering me, so he [the trainer] just kind of warmed it up and everything before I went out to go."
Fredette's wounds were valid. He didn't use them as an excuse. He'd missed too many shots. But he'd take them all again if given the chance.
A shooter's conscience. Never remember misses.
"Any time he wants to get it off, he can get it off," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "He's got a special skill, and I give him credit because he's a real hard-working kid that has really made himself a great player, and I've got all the respect and admiration for that."
This Sweet 16 matchup was typical when teams get this deep in the NCAA Tournament. It was a physical game. Officials watched more than worked the plastic whistles in their mouths. That gave the bigger, deeper Gators a significant advantage.
BYU's been playing on borrowed paint time since forward Chris Collinsworth had surgery in early January.
And Florida used that advantage well.
The officiating frustrated Cougar players. Fredette himself had to be warned four times to step away from an official after one second-half sequence of no-calls as both teams' passions ran high.
Jackson Emery reacted to a charge call on Fredette, something BYU coach Dave Rose said was a "reaction" rather than an oral complaint or swear word, and got a technical with 12:03 left and BYU down 51-50.
"You know," explained Fredette, "Sometimes you've got to play through everything. Both teams had times where they had to play through calls, and it wasn't anything bad. It was just a little maybe frustration, just because that's what happens sometimes during basketball games.
"But I tried to keep an even keel, and we were still right in there at the end of the game. We just didn't win."
Fredette had nothing left. It was out on the floor. It included blood after Florida center Tony Macklin stretched out a foot and tripped him on a late second-half drive that ended with Fredette's chin bouncing off the hardwood. No whistle on the play.
Fredette explained the injury to the press only after being asked.
Missed shots did it.25 comments on this story
The Cougars had a season of "ifs" and turned almost all into gold but this one.
Fredette ends his BYU career with 2,599 career points, 132 more than Cougar legend Danny Ainge, who sat across the court from BYU's bench.
Ainge watched the curtain fall on the entertaining, headline-making, clip-producing, highlight-making Jimmer Show which featured a run at his scoring record that had stood for 30 years.
Three decades, 'till a guy with a funny, sing-song name and fearless shooter's mind took it down.
We'll never see anything like it again.