OK, SIU lost. Now what?

NCAA BASKETBALL: NOV 20 2K Sports Classic - Southern Illinois v Duke
I'm still trying to come to grips with that tough loss last night. That's not healthy, and I know I'm not supposed to pull for a side, but the fan inside of me that I silence with a slew of stat sheets wants to speak out.

He wants to get over the loss, but has one burning question before he moves on.

Now what?

His biggest fear is how SIU will respond in its next game, a Sunday night "White Out" game against in-state rival and MVC top-dog Bradley.

Sure, the Salukis are on a pretty positive roll despite a tough loss. They're making big buckets, especially freshman guard Kevin Dillard who is leading the team in scoring. They're getting key defensive stops, save the two 3-pointers in overtime. And more than anything, the Dawgs are fighting together.

That final thing will carry teams more than you think.

But his biggest fear, in all honesty, is a fear that SIU will have a let down Sunday night. After mustering up so much emotion and so much energy, how does a team desperate to get back into contention respond?

How does its fanbase, torn about whether to be happy about the team's recent progress or the overall 7-10 record, respond when Southern, in those familiar white jerseys with oversized maroon numbers, steps on the floor?

As much as I .. er .. he learned about the Saluki basketball team and the cojones that group has ... he will learn even more Sunday night.