On Monday night, the Iowa State Cyclones were poised to lock down the type of win that guarantees a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
However, the referees made an extremely controversial no-call, and then made a call, that eventually allowed Kansas to send the game into overtime and eventually to snatch victory from the jaws of impending defeat.
The call in question, according to Larry Brown Sports, came in the game’s waning moments of regulation. The eventual star of the game, Kansas’ Elijah Johnson, drove and jumped into the waiting body of Georges Niang. The entire crowd — and those watching from home — thought a charge should be called. However, the refs chose instead to allow the athletes to play on.
Because Johnson’s drive was so disturbed, he failed to make the basket. In the ensuing scramble for the loose ball, the refs found the perfect time to actually blow their whistles — calling a hold on Niang from the ground, of all things.
The call sent the already rabid crowd into a frenzy, and it sent the Cyclones into a downward spiral from which the team would not recover in a 108-96 overtime defeat.
[In fact, ISU fans were so incensed that one even attempted to jump Kansas coach Bill Self; crazy stuff]
So angered are the fans that Big 12 coordinator of officials Curtis Shaw confirmed that the league is reviewing the sequence and will take appropriate measures following their investigation.
“We will handle the situation and approach the teams appropriately,” Shaw said. “We review every play and take the appropriate action.”
Here’s the play in question.