Louisville beat Wichita State 72-68 to advance to the national championship game tonight, but everyone is talking about the controversial call with 8-seconds left that sealed the deal for the Cardinals.
The score was 71-68 when Louisville’s Luke Hancock (who was the best player on the court all game) missed a free throw. After Wichita State’s Ron Baker got the rebound, Hancock stuck in hands into his body and got a hand on the ball. In an instant, the referee called a jump ball, and Louisville took possession.
To our eyes, it was a bad call.
Hancock had his hand on the ball for a fraction of a second. It wasn’t enough to rule a jump ball. You have to hold the whistle in that situation, unless it’s an actual tie-up. But it was clear that Baker had the ball, Hancock grabbed it for a split-second, and Baker immediately wrestled it back.
The whistle was just too quick.
Yeah, it still would have taken a lot for Wichita State to hit a three, send the game to OT, and eventually win. But the call was still awful, and it changed the game:
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