There were no regrets, no long faces, no tears. This was one of the greatest moments in Utah basketball history and fans enjoyed it - win or lose.
"Utah played well. We weren't embarrassed. What a year we've had. What a tournament. I'm glad I came," said Jay Monk of Bountiful as he watched the Utes leave the floor.Utah lost the game 78-69. But, as the saying goes, the game was much closer than the score might indicate.
Monday started off much the same way Saturday did, it just ended differently.
Fans toured the city and sat out by the pool most of the morning. At 4 p.m. a pep rally was held at the team's hotel, about a mile from the Alamodome.
More Utah fans showed up for this one, however, than for the one before the North Carolina game. In fact, there were too many. A room made to hold 500 was packed with more than 1,000 cheering fans in red and white shirts, hats and face stickers.
While the cheerleaders worked in the cramped quarters and the band played the traditional songs, the fans sang and cheered and got caught in what one fan called the most "electrifying feeling I've ever experienced."
From there they broke up and headed for the dome.
It's pretty safe to say there was not an unhappy Ute fan in the arena. If there had been, it likely would have been Reese Wilde or Mel Ginsburg of Dallas. The two Ute alumni got a call early Saturday that they had tickets waiting.
The tickets were in the top row of the highest of three tiers. From their seats, the court looked about the size of a paperback book.
"It's great," said Wilde. "We follow the Utes when we can and now we're here. From up here we can see everything, even some of the things you might miss sitting down there."
Randy Parker and his kids, Spencer and Melissa, were a few rows closer. They took the "red-eye flight" out of Salt Lake City to get to San Antonio. Over a 48-hour period they'd slept only two hours.
But, the three said, almost together, that it was "worth it."
"We'd like to be lower down but, hey, we're here while everyone else is back home. They might be able to see better, but we're here and this is the opportunity of a lifetime," said the senior Packer.
Fans were no less happy after the game.
Bryan Timmins of Salt Lake City called the experience fun and the game the most "fantastic I've ever seen."
Chip Smith of Salt Lake City called this a "wonderful run by Utah. They played hard and dug deep. They represented Utah well. This is the greatest five days of basketball I've had."
Chris Rich skipped a med school exam to come to the game. He summed up the feeling of several fans around them when he said, "Utah has nothing to be ashamed of. I'm proud of these guys."