Louisville defeated Wichita State to earn a spot in Monday night’s NCAA championship game, but an “iffy” — and some say outright blown — jump ball call in the last 10 seconds sealed Wichita State’s fate.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the Louisville-Wichita State Final Four game, and the Cardinals leading 71-68, Shockers guard Ron Baker grabbed the rebound off a Luke Hancock missed free throw. Hancock reached his hand in and a jump ball was called. Louisville went on to win 72-68 to secure a spot in Monday’s title game.
Yahoo! collected some responses from Twitter:
NCAA officials supervisor John Adams said in a statement that the call was made because in the official’s eyes, “a held ball occurred because two players held the ball and control could not be obtained without undue roughness, as stated in Rule 4, Section 37, Article 1, letter a of the Men’s Basketball Rules Book.”
Wichita State backup guard Nick Wiggins lamented to USA Today that the situation was “iffy.”
“That was one of the plays that was kind of iffy,” he said. “I didn’t see the whole thing, but I saw it on the replay and that’s a play that we needed. Coach stresses to us those 50-50 balls are most important and it showed right there. We needed that ball, and it was a big blow to us. I feel like the outcome could have been different.”
Louisville will face off against Michigan for the NCAA title.