HOUSTON, Texas - The sun has set on OU's remarkable season.
The Sooner faithful came into Saturday night's Final Four matchup confident.
After all, the team had pummeled Villanova by 23 points last December.
"They beat us good. And I was a little worried at first," said Matt Yakqush, a Wildcats fan.
Confidence swelled early when Buddy Hield scored his first 3-pointer just seconds into the game.
But the Sooner shooters went cold and the fans went flat.
OU stumbled on college basketball's biggest stage.
"We went back and forth, trading leads for the first few minutes. But then Villanova lit us up. They couldn't miss," said Ryan Shoemaker, an OU fan.
A disappointing 44 point loss for sure, but lifelong fans like Toby Keith are proud at how far the program has come.
"We are in better shape than 5 years ago. We have a great coach and we are going in the right direction. Sooner forever, baby!" Keith said.
For the thousands who made the trek south, it'll be a long ride home from Houston.