UCF coach to sobbing players: 'We always said it's going to end in two ways ... celebrating or crying'

Take one peek inside the University of Central Florida’s locker room after the team’s heartbreaking one-point loss to Duke on Sunday night, and you’d understand just how invested the players are in their team.

Coach Johnny Dawkins, choking back tears himself, addressed his team after with cameras rolling all the while.

“We always said it’s going to end in two ways ... it’s going to end celebrating, or we’re going to end crying, we’re in tears,” Dawkins said. “That’s because we invested – like I said before – so much in each other, and in what we were doing.”

“I know this is going to hurt – it’s going to hurt for a while, we’ve been here before, the same thing.”

As he’s speaking, you can hear players sobbing near the camera. You later see a number of players, particularly the senior class, including 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall, sobbing as the team groups up for a cheer.

Duke held on to beat UCF 77-76 after two UCF attempts in the final five seconds came extremely close to going in. Time seemed to stop as Aubrey Dawkins’ put-back rolled painstakingly around the rim before Duke’s Zion Williamson swatted it down, and the game came to an end.

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March Madness 2019: Photos from the second round
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March Madness 2019: Photos from the second round
Houston players celebrate after their second round men's college basketball game against Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. Houston won 74-59. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Oregon forward Louis King celebrates after scoring against UC Irvine during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Oregon guard Payton Pritchard, middle, drives to the basket between UC Irvine guard Spencer Rivers, left, and forward Elston Jones during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver (23) shoots past Buffalo's Nick Perkins (33) during the second half of a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. Texas Tech won 78-58. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Gonzaga's Josh Perkins (13) reaches for Corey Kispert (24) after Kispert's 3-pointer against Baylor during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Purdue's Carsen Edwards, left, and Villanova's Phil Booth dive for a loose ball during the first half of a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
LSU players celebrate after defeating Maryland 69-67 in a second-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 24: Tommy Rutherford #42 of the UC Irvine Anteaters competes for the ball with Francis Okoro #33 of the Oregon Ducks in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at SAP Center on March 24, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MARCH 24: Brison Gresham #55 of the Houston Cougars grabs a rebound against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half of the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 24, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 24: Wabissa Bede #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies reacts with teammates on the bench in the second half against the Liberty Flames during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at SAP Center on March 24, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 24: Aubrey Dawkins #15 of the UCF Knights looks to tip-in the ball against the Duke Blue Devils during the second half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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