Monday, March 21, 2011

Butler-Pitt: A Strange, Strange Ending

These middle-aged eyes have viewed plenty of college basketball. But what the eyes saw Saturday in the Butler-Pittsburgh NCAA tournament game was plain weird.

Butler held a one-point lead with only a couple seconds remaining. Pittsburgh has one last desperate chance. All Butler had to do was apply a little pressure as the Panthers would try a heave-ho shot.

The Pittsburgh pass went to mid-court where there was a scramble for the basketball. The Butler player bumped into the Pittsburgh player and a foul was called. Unbelievable! The Pitt player made the first free throw to tie the score. He then missed the second one and I saw the Butler player rebound the ball thinking the game was headed for overtime.

But wait: I saw the official raise his hand. The Butler player was fouled on the rebound. Unbelievable! After making the first shot, the second one was deliberately missed and Butler had defeated the No. 1 seed in a most memorable NCAA tournament game.

All coaches preached at the end of the game to avoid foolish fouls. Saturday, there were two foolish ones in a matter of about two seconds. Sometimes cooler heads do not prevail.

It’s March Madness and things get crazy. They were just a little crazier Saturday.

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