Sorry to be the bearer of bad news and the 1000th person you’ve heard this from over the last 48 hours…but what the fuck was that Monday night?!?!? Monday night was supposed to be the culmination of an amazing season of basketball with an unbelievable storyline to cap it off. The mid-major who had come so close so many times finally had their shot to take down the Holy Grail. A #1 seed who was 37-1 going into the game…1 final win and this Gonzaga team would be talked about as potentially one of the best in the modern era. They had a 7’1 behemoth who looked like a giant bear who also somehow became the winningest player in college basketball history. Cue my brain:
Their best player’s name was Nigel. Nigel! Need I go on?
The team they were facing? Another #1 seed, a heavyweight matchup of titans. One of the original blue blood programs, where the best player of all time played and won a title as a Freshman. Look familiar?
Oh right, I almost forgot. They also happened to lose the National Championship the year prior on a crazy buzzer-beater 3 immediately after they had just hit an even crazier game-tying 3 themselves. They were out for redemption. This year the title wasn’t slipping through their fingers.
And yet, last night was one of the worst basketball games I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The only one that’s comparable was the Uconn vs. Butler despicable slugfest that ended 53-41. This was a game played 6 years ago, not 60. The WINNING team shot 34.5% from the field and went 1-11 from 3. And yet last night may have been worse for 1 reason. The refs.
No call made it more clear than the sequence with Joel Berry and Karnowski in the 2nd half. After the refs made an atrocious foul call on Berry when he made a great play and clearly stripped the ball, the refs went to the monitors. After the 29th delay of game caused by the refs (all figures estimated), they came back with a new call…Flagrant on Karnowski! The guy who the refs had JUST deemed was the one fouled against. I wish I could call it a comedy of errors, but nobody was laughing. It was a disgrace.
The players also sucked. There’s no getting around it. The winning Tarheels went 4-27 from 3. 4-27! Sharpshooter Justin Jackson went 0-9 from long range on his own. We can chalk it up to playing the game in a gigantic football stadium, the stoppages in play caused by the shitty refs, lingering injuries, or whatever other excuse our tiny minds can conjure up. All I know is that game wasn’t good enough. And something needs to change.