Brackets busted all across the country thanks to a poor performance by Texas basketball coupled with a late suspicious foul against Abilene Christian.
If you listened closely on Saturday night, you may have heard what sounded like the distant sound of brackets busting all across the country.
You might also have heard the sound of the soul of fans in Austin getting sucked from their bodies and transported to another dimension where the pain of a late-game foul can’t hurt them. Because in this reality, that’s exactly what happened.
Late in Texas’ first-round game against Abilene Christian, Matt Coleman was called for what appeared to be a phantom foul that ended up costing the Longhorns the game. With Texas up by a single point, officials called Coleman for a foul that sent Abilene Christian to the free-throw line with 1.2 seconds left.
Despite the Wildcats’ worst free-throw shooter on the roster making the trip to the line, both free throws were sunk and with it Texas’ hopes of advancing out of the first round.
Did Texas basketball get screwed by officials against Abilene Christian?
In real-time, it didn’t look like much but the officials called a foul and sent Abilene Christian to the line with a chance to win.
Full disclosure: This was the last leg of my giant 12 pick parlay so there’s extreme bias in wanting this to have gone the way of Texas.
reflection replay, Coleman does appear to grab an arm in the mad scramble for the loose ball which would technically constitute a foul. But it’s extremely borderline, and given how high the stakes were at that point in the game it’s a massive intrusion by the officials to step in and make a call that essentially gave Abilene Christian a free chance to win the game.
As bad as the call seemingly was, and as easy as it’ll be to blame it for the reason Texas was upset, there’s a lot more to the story.
The Longhorns turned the ball over against Abilene Christian more than it did in any game this season. Add to that the fact that the core of Coleman/Ramey/Jones went 9 for 26 from the field with 15 turnovers between them and you start to see why this upset happened.
Try this on for size: Texas held Abilene Christian to 30 percent shooting, 17 percent from 3, shot 45 percent themselves, including 35 percent from 3, and allowed only 53-points — and lost. The Longhorns, despite their best efforts, lost a statistically un-losable game.
Brackets were meant to be busted, and this wasn’t the first time a game was decided by suspiciously overbearing officiating late in a game. Two things can be true at once: The officials inserted themselves into the narrative and busted brackets across the country, and Texas played so miserably that it threw itself to the whim of the officials rather than playing like a No. 3 seed and conference champion should.
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