BRANSON MO NEWS: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While his teammates hoisted jumpers on the Bridgestone Arena hardwood, Michael Porter Jr. walked to the bench. He sat down and looked down. But the freshman was not alone.It was halftime in a game Porter dreamed of playing in when he signed with the school for which he grew up rooting. But like the season itself — because this game and Missouri having to battle through adversity was symbolic of the season itself — the Tigers trailed by 22.After this halftime moment, a Porter and-1 bucket propelled the black and gold to a 8-1 run. He nor the team had enough to be its best on this night, though. And because of that fact, Missouri fell to Florida State 67-54 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I don’t know how to put the feeling into words,” Porter said in the locker room while shaking his head, “but it’s a feeling I never want to feel again.”At game’s end, as the teams walked the handshake line, tears streamed down Porter’s face. He then walked through the tunnel, passed the walls lined by signatures of entertainers and entered the locker room.There, he buried his head in his hands. He cried.“It’s the NCAA Tournament,” said Porter, who scored 16 points on 4-of-12 shooting and added 10 rebounds. “You’ve got to give the team everything you have. I can honestly say I played as hard as I could for the time I was out there.“It just wasn’t enough.”Members of the media hounded Porter in the locker room, asking the former No. 1 high school player in the nation questions about himself. Time and time again, he brought it back to the team. Then again, that is why he returned to wear the …
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