Donovan spent most of the week insisting there was no special value in the coincidences of the past. Yeah, sure, this was Florida's fourth straight Elite Eight. So what? It didn't need to come with some added, invisible pressure. That was last year, and last year's team, and it had nothing to do with Florida versus Dayton on a Saturday night in Memphis.
Seasons almost always end in losses. It doesn't matter when those losses come. All you can hope is that you play well.
But on Saturday night, perhaps for the first time all week, Donovan acknowledged the value of the past.
"This group has learned that you've got to be able to pull together when things get tough," Donovan said. "It's great for those guys that they stayed the course and saw the bigger picture rather than wanting immediate success.
"They're better players today for going through what they went through. If it would have been easier on them, I don't think they'd be quite as good."