Kansas leads SIU, 27-24 at halftime. The Salukis may be three points behind, but that’s a Southern Illinois type score. (In the most recent edition of the ESPNU College Basketball Insider Podcast, Andy Glockner said, “I don’t know that Southern Illinois can make this a 60-55 game,” and Jay Bilas agreed: “They’ve only allowed one team all year long, and that was Western Kentucky, to score 70 or more. I think Kansas will be the second, and I think up at that level, Kansas will have a better opportunity to win than will Southern Illinois.” Well, so far, the Salukis are proving Glockner and Bilas wrong. Keep it up, guys!)
Meanwhile, by the six-minute mark of the first half in the Texas A&M-Memphis game, both teams had scored more points than either team in the Kansas-SIU game at the half. That one is currently tied at 35.
UPDATE: The Salukis opened the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 33-27 lead. Woohoo!
A win by Southern Illinois would actually eliminate me from any chance of winning my pool. But I don’t care! Go SIU!
UPDATE 2: Kansas 58, Southern Illinois 56 with 1:08 left. GO SALUKIS!!!
UPDATE 3: DAMMIT!! Southern Illinois falls just short, 61-58.
The Jayhawks got just enough breaks to scratch and claw their way past a team that clearly outplayed them. I’m not blaming the refs or saying Kansas doesn’t deserve the victory — just that they are very, very lucky to escape with a win. And that anyone who doubts whether Southern Illinois deserves respect is officially an idiot.
And, damn, if only Tatum had gotten that point-blank, uncontested putback after the missed layup.
I give Kansas credit for one thing… the Jayhawks had a bunch of steals (8, I think?), several of which were very pretty — and without those, they definitely lose.
Just a frustrating ending… so many “woulda, coulda, shouldas.” The Salukis were so close to the Elite Eight. Argh.
Well, on the bright side, at least I’m still mathematically alive in my pool. :)
UPDATE 4: What happened to this game? It was so much higher-scoring than the SIU-Kansas game, and now suddenly, it’s not. A&M leads 64-63 with 54.1 seconds left, and it’s Aggies ball.
UPDATE 5: ACIE LAW MISSED A CLUTCH LAYUP?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
UPDATE 6: REBOUND?? Can you get a freaking REBOUND, Aggies?!? AAAAAHHHH!!!!!!
UPDATE 7: Memphis by 1 with 3.1 seconds left, A&M ball. It’s Acie Law IV time!! A chance for redemption! One shining moment! Do it!! C’MON AGGIES!!!
My whole theory in picking A&M to win the national championship was that, in close games, in situations like this, Acie Law IV, Captain Clutch, would carry them to victory, Christian Laettner-style. That theory is about to be put to the ultimately test.
UPDATE 8: WTF?
That was the most retarded anti-climax ever.
And what kind of a shot was that???
And where was Acie Law IV????
Good defense by Memphis…
and the refs.
That sucked. A lot.
Well, congrats to Jay and Memphis. And farewell to my pool chances.
[More after the jump on the “1.1 seconds” controversy, about which I strike a more conciliatory tone upon reflection. -ed.]
P.S. I actually think I understand how you might be able to justify saying 1.1 seconds ran off the clock, if you say the ball initially landed in bounds, then flew way up in the air, and you don’t stop the clock until it landed out of bounds.
…the whistle clearly blew the moment the ball hit the ground the first time. Maybe it blew erroneously, but it still blew, and once the whistle blows, the play is dead. You can’t say 0.9 seconds ran off the clock after the whistle blew!!! That’s completely wrong. I mean, who knows, if the whistle hadn’t blown, a player might have tried to dive after the ball. It might be unlikely, but you can’t definitively say it wouldn’t have happened, which is the whole reason that, by rule, when the whistle blows, the play is dead!! Texas A&M was unequivocally, unquestionably, unjustifiably, unconscionably ROBBED of between 0.9 and 1.1 seconds on their final play, on the basis of a faulty replay decision… despite the fact that the refs took like 90 seconds to decide it! It’s like Oregon-Oklahoma all over again! Granted, the Aggies might not have scored anyway, but they absolutely should have had the chance to take the ball with 2.9 or 3.0 left instead of 2.0. Cripes. What a bunch of bullcrap.
That said: the reason A&M lost, really, is because Acie Law IV missed that layup. So, my theory is officially down the toilet. Along with my bracket.
Again, congrats to Memphis on the win… it’s not the Tigers’ fault the refs f***ed up the clock and denied Texas A&M a fair chance on the last play.
P.P.S. In comments, Dan Port points out that “the refs f-cked up the whistle blow- giving A&M MORE time for their last possession than if they had [correctly] blown it when it landed out of bounds. Either way, the refs suck.” That’s true.
My initial response was:
I guess I can forgive that error because it was so close to the line that the naked eye could easily have mistaken it for going out of boundsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I guess I consider that a ‘part of the game’ sort of error, where you write it off to the fact that the refs are human, and the human eye canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make such incredibly fine distinctions in real time. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m much less forgiving when the error happens on a replay.
I stand by that sentiment. However, that said, Dan is right, the Aggies actually would have been the beneficiaries of a referee-enabled “lucky break” if they’d gotten the ball with 2.9 or whatever… so perhaps my language above is a bit overheated. :) Paradoxically, either call would have been wrong; somebody was going to get screwed. It wouldn’t have been fair if the call had gone the other way, either.
I still think it sucks that the game ended on a bad call — in either direction — but my fulminating at the refs above is, I suppose, more a product of frustration than anything else. It sucks to watch the teams you’re rooting for blow two winnable games in rapid succession.
A&M lost not because of the refs, but because Captain Clutch couldn’t hit a G**damn layup, and the whole team couldn’t get a G**damn rebound. And now my chances to win $280 in the law-school pool, as well as a t-shirt in my own pool, are G**damn gone. ;)