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Will Regan's college career comes to a bittersweet end

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An hour after the air horn blared, Will Regan remained in his black University at Buffalo uniform. The No. 2 jersey, the baggy shorts, the compression shorts, the laced-up Nikes, all of it.

Regan had played his last college basketball game, a 68-62 NCAA Tournament loss to West Virginia in Nationwide Arena. He sat glassy-eyed on the folding chair in front of his locker stall and couldn't bring himself to get undressed.

That would be one more finality. He'd rather delay it. He joked he might go home in his jersey. Then again, maybe that wasn't a joke.

Whenever the Nichols School alum peeled off his UB jersey, he could do so with the knowledge it was the first version with an NCAA logo stitched on it.

Regan and classmate Xavier Ford helped the Bulls experience March Madness for the first time. But they're seniors and won't get the chance to come back.

"I'm proud of 'X,' " Regan said. "He had a great senior year and a great game. For us to end our careers at the NCAA Tournament and the first one in school history is a building block for this program, and we know that.

"Maybe that'll heal the wounds a couple weeks from now. When everything settles, we'll still have that."

In the hallway outside, Maryland's team clapped loudly as it headed onto the court for the next game.

"I'm a Buffalo kid," Regan said. "I go to Bills games. I go to Sabres games. You know the heartache that the fans go through."

Regan, a backup who played nine minutes, fouled out with 6:21 left. He had two points, an offensive rebound and an assist.

"This isn't the type of game you want to end on," Regan said. "I didn't really have the ability to contribute more than I know I could've.

"I was in foul trouble, and with the way they were calling some of them it was hard to get a feel for the game."

He bemoaned the thought of standing still on his final play. While battling for a rebound, West Virginia forward Devin Williams tripped over Regan's leg and fell to the floor in a heap. Regan heard his fifth whistle.

Perhaps Regan will play again. He already has his accounting degree, is working on his master's and plans to be a CPA and run a local business. But he also wants to give overseas pro basketball a whirl.

Even so, Friday was his last college game.

Ford finished with a flourish. He scored a team-high 16 points, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals. He scored nine points in less than three minutes to tie the game at 62 with 2:41 left.

Regan, the last Bull still in uniform by a lot, still hasn't said anything to Ford in the locker room.

"I don't even want to say anything to him," Regan said. "It's the end, and if I say something to him I probably won't be able to hold it together."

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