I got to go see two NCAA first round games on Friday here in Boise, and I intend to blog about that. At the moment, I'm just royally pissed off by the finish of the Texas-Duke game.
I only got to watch the last couple minutes because naturally we're given the Gonzaga game here in Boise. But that was enough to see Duke bailed out once again down the stretch by the referees.
First Duke takes the lead on an extremely sketchy "loose ball" foul where the only thing Texas did was be bigger and stronger than Duke's stick-man players on the interior. A Duke guy comes flying into someone with inside position, falls on his ass, and goes to the line for two. Classic.
Then on the other end, our big guy gets mugged underneath on the shot and fighting for the rebound with no call. (Watch this and explain how the Duke guy got freethrows at one end and the Texas center didn't.) Duke's point guard flings the ball past half court. A Texas and Duke player are in hot pursuit. The Texas guy has clear position on the ball and bumps the Duke guy flying past him. The Duke player reacts as though he had been punched by Superman. The whistle blows and Duke gets the game-sealing free throws.
Here's the thing: The Texas guy HAD THE BALL. There was no way the Duke player was going to get it. Any contact had nothing to do with altering the outcome of the play--it didn't put Duke at a disadvantage or give Texas anything they didn't already have. It wasn't flagrant contact. It was incidental. I can't think of two other teams in the country who would be given that call at that point in a game on this stage.
So TWICE in the last minute, TEXAS HAS POSSESSION OF THE BALL and not only do the officials take that away, THEY AWARD FREETHROWS TO DUKE.
I want to like Duke. I defend them fairly regularly against Duke haters because they play smart. But when the fact that they are undersized and puny across their front line and thus highly vulnerable to being outrebounded and outfought for loose balls gets turned into an advantage for them because the officials try to bail them out, that just pisses me off.
Then the assholes at CBS show "the final seconds" of the Texas-Duke game and leave out BOTH of these controversial sequences that decided the outcome of the game. Great reporting, douche-bags.
I'm not a big fan of Villanova, but I hope they DESTROY DUKE in the next round. And if the officials call the game remotely like they called the Villanova-UCLA game, Duke has no prayer. And I'm so angry at the moment that I'm hoping for an utter beatdown.