But with that game freshly in the rear-view mirror, it is time to look ahead towards the future roughly one year from today and see who might be hoisting the NCAA trophy when the Elite Eight returns to Evansville for the first time since 2015.
We have selected five candidates that look to be the best on paper bets to win the title next year, and there is an absolutely guarantee that these candidates will be joined by handfuls of other programs between now and next March.
Without further ado, let's start the look ahead to the 2018-19 D2 Men's Basketball season!
The Mountain Lions hold one key to their future success: holding the reigning scoring champ of D2 Men's Basketball. Tommy Bolte will be returning for his senior season following a year in which he averaged well north of 30 PPG.
A handful of freshmen that contributed throughout the 2017-18 year that ended in a MEC Tournament semifinals appearance will also be another year older and ready to provide more scoring and ability around their clear superstar.
Losing just two players and only one of their top ten scorers, the Mountain Lions should be ready to pounce and make a run like the program has never seen before.
Just a season ago, the Sharks won six games and looked to be heading towards a run of mediocrity in a Sunshine State Conference that was home to plenty of power programs. Enter Jim Crutchfield to coach the team, and the Sharks are destined to continue leaping up the rankings.
The former West Liberty head coach is one of the best recruiters in D2, with plenty of big name transfers under his belt while he was with the Hilltoppers. With a second offseason in Florida, we should start to see players flock to be a part of a growing program down South.
The current roster loses just two players and returns one of their key cogs in David Dennis, a former WL standout who followed Crutchfield. With a large group advancing another year and getting even more comfortable in their coach's system, expect big things from the Sharks.
The Cougars saw their season come to a disappointing end with a close loss in the NCAA West Regional semis to arch-rival Cal Baptist. But APU returns all but two players to their lineup and should be better following that heartbreak.
Losing two of their four leading scorers and leading rebounder will hurt, but three of their top seven came off the bench last year and will be ready to make a bigger impact with more minutes.
A key transfer or big-time freshmen could help in the cause, but the Cougars will be a big candidate to make their first run into the Elite Eight since the 2015 season – also the last time the final stage of the tourney was in Evansville.
A young Panthers program was able to make it into the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18 for the first time since 2014-15 which ended a three-run that included a national title in 2013.
But that run should begin to be built again with a second-straight tourney berth well in view as of this moment with the roster returning on paper. Drury loses just one senior who played in only 18 games and averaged under four points a night. So every key member is slated to return both on the scoreboard and other areas.
A team that fell short of some of their goals this past season, the 2018-19 year looks to be a big one brewing for the Missouri-based program.
The Warriors made a decent run through the East Regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament as a six seed, ending in the regional semis to seventh-seeded Bloomfield. But losing just two seniors who weren't at the top of the contributions chart offensively makes this team one to watch for a big jump.
Juvaris Hayes is a budding superstar for MC, and a reigning HERO Sports All American honoree. One area that is needed to be improved is rebounding, where the Warriors averaged just over 30 per contest.
If some board control and more scoring can be added to an already balanced team that made a decent run, look out for the Warriors to make their deepest run in program history.